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Active Member
Sep 10, 2004

What is Insomnia?
* Insomnia is a condition where people have difficulty in sleeping.
* It varies from restless or disturbed sleep to a reduction in the usual time spent sleeping and, in the extreme, may involve complete wakefulness.

Insomnia can take a variety of forms:
  • difficulty falling asleep (initial insomnia)
  • difficulty staying asleep
  • early wakening
Many elderly people typically sleep lightly and fitfully.
Some people are kept awake by painful conditions such as arthritis, others are disturbed by the need to urinate frequently or by leg cramps.
Sleeplessness is also common during pregnancy, especially in the later weeks.

Other causes of insomnia include:
  • Previous arguments with family members
  • Watching exciting programs on television late at night
  • Consuming caffeine (found in tea, coffee or cola drinks), large amounts of alcohol or a large meal close to bedtime
  • In most cases, however, the core problem is emotional.
How is Insomnia treated?
There are a number of ways to help yourself fall asleep more easily:
  • Exercising during the day or going for a stroll an hour or so before bedtime.
  • Taking a warm bath or drinking a glass of warm milk (milk contains a chemical that is converted to a sleep-enhancing compound in the brain) before bedtime.
  • It is often possible to break the cycle of insomnia by deliberately staying awake for an entire night.
  • Medicines may be prescribed when the cause of insomnia includes a particularly stressful situation (a bereavement or the loss of a job, for example) or pain from some physical condition.