What is insomnia?
As adults we follow a natural 24 hour cycle known as the circadian rythm. We normally sleep about 8 hours at night. Sleeping poorly for a few days does not do any harm however prolonged insomnia can have serious consequences. Insomnia or lack of sleep is one of the most commonly reported health problems. Almost 1 out of 3 people have problems sleeping and women are affected twice as much as men.
What are the different forms of insomnia?
- This is a temporary disturbance of a normal sleep pattern. which may occur for a few days. This is usually due to travel or going to a new place.
Short term insomnia
- This may last 2 to 3 weeks and is generally caused by stress or anxiety. When the stress inducing factor is removed, normal sleep patterns return.
- Chronic insomnia is a complex disorder. When people are unable to sleep over long periods of time, the body's immune system becomes disturbed and can lead to immune disorders.
refers to attacks of irresistible drowsiness during the day. A narcoleptic may be unable to sleep at night but will get sleep attacks during normal activities such as walking, talking and working.