Patterns of insomnia
This type of insomnia can be described by the difficulty of coming back to sleep after being awaken in the middle of the night, or become awaken too early in the morning. Middle-of-the-night insomnia is also called nocturnal awakenings.
Middle and Terminal insomnia
Middle insomnia is when awakening happens during the middle of the night with the difficulty of maintaining sleep. Middle insomnia is usually provoked by pain disorders or any other medical illness.
Terminal (or late) insomnia is referring to early morning awakening with inability to go back to sleep.
Scientists now say that lack of sleep fuels more than anxiety
For some reason we do not treat sleep properly. Sleep is not just helpful to our wellbeing, it is important for our survival. Normal mind and body functions directly related to the quality of sleep. However, getting sufficient sleep is a difficult task for majority of people. In this interview with Ellen Beth Levitt, a sleep expert describes the different stages of sleep, and talks about the causes and latest treatments for insomnia:
Video: Sleep and Insomnia
In this interview with Ellen Beth Levitt, sleep expert Dr. Steven Scharf talks about the following topics:
- Sleep hygiene
- Definition of insomnia
- Causes of insomnia
- When to see a sleep specialist
- Insomnia treatments
- Sleeping pills
- Cognitive therapy
Insomnia could be triggered by the following events:
Drugs and Disorders
Psychoactive drugs and stimulants, including certain medications and herbs, such as: caffeine, cocaine, ephedrine, amphetamines, methylphenidate, MDMA, methamphetamine, and modafinil. For a family of fluoroquinolone antibiotic drugs, please see fluoroquinolone toxicity, which is associated with more severe and chronic types of insomnia. For elderly women it is recommended to familiarized yourself with hormone shifts such as those that precede menstruation and those during menopause. Other life problems like fear, stress, anxiety, emotional or mental tension, work problems, financial stress, unsatisfactory sex life, individually and in combination, could be cause mental disorders, such as: bipolar disorder, clinical depression, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), post traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, and others.
Internal Time Clock
Malfunction of the circadian rhythm, usually related to shift work and jet lag, can cause inability to fall asleep during one part of the day with demonstration of excessive sleepiness at the other times of the day. Jet lag is noticed in people who happen to travel through multiple time zones, being unable to plug themselves into rising and falling of the sun, which no longer corresponds to the body’s internal time clock. Typical circadian rhythm sleep disorder experienced by shift workers is also a type of insomnia.
Internal Bodily Functions
Estrogen is considered to play a significant role in women’ mental health (including insomnia). A conceptual model of how estrogen affects mood was suggested by Sippe G Douma from Delft University of Technology. Based on his extensive literature review, related to an activity of endogenous, bio-identical and synthetic estrogen with mood and well-being. Mr. Douma and his colleges concluded that any sudden estrogen withdrawal, fluctuating estrogen, and periods of sustained low levels of estrogen is primarily cause for significant mood lowering. Recovery from depression postpartum, perimenopause, and postmenopause, observed clinically, was shown to be very effective after levels of estrogen were stabilized and/or restored.
Gaining Control Over Sleep Problems
Learning sleep strategies can not only assure restful nights but can also help you waking up without blurry sensation during morning hours. Learn all things you need to do before going to bed to make all the difference in your life.
Video: Sleep and Insomnia Part II
In this interview with Ellen Beth Levitt, a sleep expert Dr. Steven Scharf covers the following topics:
- Why we need sleep and how much
- Sleep stages
- REM vs. Non-REM sleep
- Circadian rhythms
- Shift-work strategies