Insomnia, Sleep Disorder - Anxiety Like Medical Condition
Insomnia, Sleep Disorder
Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep easily, or remain asleep throughout the night, or waking too early in the morning. There is controversy surrounding the average number of hours of sleep that an adult requires. It was thought that adults require 7 – 8 hours nightly, but that number is presently under review. Researchers purport that people require less sleep with age and suggest the number may be as low as 6 hours for the older adult.
A disruption of the body’s circadian rhythm may lead to insomnia. The circadian rhythm is the regular recurrence of certain phenomena such as body temperature, hormone production and release, sleep, etc. in cycles of approximately 24 hours. The biological processes occur at about the same time each day or night.
Most individuals have occasional nights of restlessness, which is normal. However, prolonged restlessness may lead to diminished memory, depression, headaches, impaired concentration, and an increase in risk of substance abuse.
Signs and Symptoms
Common symptoms of insomnia include:
- Anxiety as bedtime approaches
- Daytime drowsiness, fatigue, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and impaired ability to perform normal activities
- Inability to sleep despite being tired
- Not feeling refreshed after sleep
Causes, Conditions, or Situations Leading to Insomnia:
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If you report symptoms of insomnia or sleep disorders to your physician, he or she will first obtain a detailed sleep history by asking questions about your sleep patterns and sleep quality. He or she will also ask questions to determine whether you snore, have any underlying medical conditions, take medications, or have recently undergone any significant life changes. Keeping a sleep diary (recording all sleep-related information) may help the physician determine the type of insomnia and how best to treat it. The primary care physician may recommend a sleep specialist or a sleep disorders center where brain waves, body movements, breathing, and heartbeats may be electronically monitored during sleep.
The following lifestyle changes can help prevent insomnia:
- Avoid caffeine (especially after noon) and nicotine
- Early treatment of insomnia may also help prevent psychiatric disorders such as depression
- Exercise regularly. However, exercise can stimulate arousal so it should be done in the morning or afternoon.
- Get regular exposure to late afternoon sun to stimulate the release of melatonin which helps regulate the circadian rhythm
- Practice stress reduction techniques such as yoga, meditation, or deep relaxation
- Seek anxiety disorder help and support
For a more detailed explanation about all anxiety symptoms, why symptoms can persist long after the stress response has ended, common barriers to recovery and symptom elimination, and more recovery strategies and tips, we have many chapters that address this information in the Recovery Support area of our website.
Common Anxiety Symptoms
The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist is the most effective way to address anxiety disorder and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed - the underlying factors that motivate apprehensive behavior - a struggle with anxiety disorder can return again and again. Identifying and successfully addressing anxiety's underlying factors is the best way to overcome problematic anxiety.
- For a comprehensive list of Anxiety Disorders Symptoms Signs, Types, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment.
- Anxiety and panic attacks symptoms can be powerful experiences. Find out what they are and how to stop them.
- How to stop an anxiety attack and panic.
- Free online anxiety tests to screen for anxiety. Two minute tests with instant results. Such as:
- Anxiety 101 is a summarized description of anxiety, anxiety disorder, and how to overcome it.
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