Insomnia – treatments and remedies for insomnia

Insomnia (synonymous with agripnia) is a disturbance in nighttime sleep. Insomnia occurs in neuroses, mental illnesses, in some organic diseases of the brain (encephalitis, arachnoiditis, vascular diseases of the brain, etc.), in general infections, intoxications, physical or mental fatigue, when the regulation of the correct alternation of sleep and wakefulness is disturbed. Insomnia is manifested by a reduction in the duration of night sleep due to late falling asleep, early morning awakening, or frequent awakenings in the middle of the night. This quantitative decrease in nighttime sleep is rarely significant. Patients who complain of insomnia usually sleep for at least 5 hours. More important is the qualitative change in sleep in these patients, which is detected, however, only with an electroencephalographic study.

Normal nocturnal sleep, as a rule, is heterogeneous in its structure and consists of several correctly alternating stages: the stage of shallow sleep, when the sleeper can be easily awakened; the stage of deep sleep, which is associated with a feeling of satisfaction from sleep; sleep stage, accompanied by dreams. With insomnia, the duration of the deep sleep stage decreases due to an increase in superficial sleep. The relationship between the stages of dreamless sleep and dreaming is normally about 80%: 20%. With insomnia, these relationships are violated. Such a change in the structure of sleep, combined with its reduction, causes complaints of patients about general fatigue, decreased performance, decreased memory, and headache .     

Treatment . It is recommended to treat the underlying disease that caused insomnia, work and rest, sleep, gymnastics, warm general and foot baths, walks before bedtime, sedative drugs (valerian root, motherwort, bromine). Only in some cases are hypnotics shown , they should be used in limited quantities (no more than one tablet) and only as prescribed by a doctor.     

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