It is the most common type of sleep disorder in the adult population. In childhood, insomnia is less common, yielding first place to specific sleep disorders.
The reasons for the development are very different. The most typical causative factors may be frequent naps, poor, uncomfortable sleep conditions, or disruption of the sleep-wake regime as a result of, for example, night work. The fact of the existence of high-speed airliners at the beginning of the 20th century, and the connection between their appearance and the frequency of insomnia, raises doubts. As a result, a significant part of the population experienced strong shifts in normal daily biorhythms. People with unstable sleep are especially sensitive to such changes.
The most common cause of sleep disturbance in adults today is misuse and abuse of various drugs. This is especially true of drugs that have a strong effect on the central nervous system, which include tranquilizers, sedatives, hypnotics, etc. in turn, they also become ineffective. Ultimately, sleep becomes less deep, the relationship of its phases is disrupted. Patients begin to wake up frequently at night.
When these drugs are abruptly canceled, the REM sleep phase increases sharply and the NREM sleep phase is shortened. This leads to the development of insomnia, as well as other disorders such as impaired consciousness, influx of hallucinations, muscle pain, muscle cramps at night.
Sleep disorders often develop as a result of drinking alcohol in the evenings. Moreover, the longer the periods of alcohol consumption, the more often and more pronounced the disorders occur. Sleep becomes shallow, patients often wake up, get up very early in the morning. Sleep disturbances almost always occur when alcohol is abruptly withdrawn from the body after prolonged use.
Sleep disorders are also characteristic in patients with the so-called “restless legs syndrome”. There is an involuntary need to move the legs without ceasing, as the patient experiences ongoing discomfort in them. As a result, the process of normal falling asleep is disrupted. The patient wakes up very often in the middle of the night.
In general, sleep disorders to one degree or another are always found in patients with severe pain syndrome of various origins. In this case, in some cases, pain occurs or intensifies at night, for example, pain in inflammatory processes.
In turn, sleep itself can contribute to the occurrence of conditions that lead to its disturbances. The most common and illustrative examples are pain during angina pectoris, attacks of bronchial asthma, shortness of breath with insufficiency of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
The term “insomnia” is used to refer to a whole group of different pathologies: violation of the process of falling asleep, frequent awakening during sleep, frustration after waking up in the form of weakness, the feeling that a person “did not sleep well.” Sleep disorders are most common. The patient cannot fall asleep in any way, despite severe drowsiness, while a very painful condition develops, which is supported by the fear of inability to fall asleep, the patient tosses in bed for a long time, changes position, begins to constantly wake up, after which he cannot fall asleep for a long time. Sleep becomes not deep enough, and awakening occurs more easily. Awakening occurs either by itself, or it can be caused by any external stimuli (noise, light), it can also be a consequence of disturbances in the sleep process (frightening nightmares, palpitations, urge to urinate and other reasons).
With insomnia that develops against the background of concomitant diseases, which is quite common, the most appropriate method of its treatment is to eliminate the factors leading to it. The first and most important step is to optimize the wake-sleep mode. Work at night is completely excluded. You need to sleep in a comfortable home environment. In the presence of a mental illness, they begin to treat it, it is forbidden to drink alcohol in large quantities and at night, to use various drugs. If the patient has manifestations of neurosis and psychopathic personality traits, treatment is carried out by a psychologist. It is necessary to completely eliminate all psycho-traumatic factors of the environment. These measures, unfortunately, are not always possible to apply, and, even when applied, they are not always able to have the desired effect. Therefore, the most important point in the treatment of insomnia is drug therapy.
You can start treatment yourself, at home, with drugs dispensed from pharmacies without a doctor’s prescription. Such drugs as tincture of valerian root, donormil , motherwort tincture – act quite mildly and in certain cases can have a very pronounced positive effect. However, it should always be remembered that the use of the drug in large doses and lasting more than three weeks is inappropriate, since addiction may develop, and in the future the disease will only progress.
In patients with mild sleep disorders can be used anti- histamine drugs. In more severe cases, the most commonly prescribed drugs are the so-called “daytime” tranquilizers. Prescribed for anxious forms of neurosis, these drugs also help improve sleep, normalize its structure. More powerful are “night” tranquilizers, which directly affect sleep.
The appointment of sleeping pills can be in two different ways: either they are used only once when it is impossible to fall asleep, or they are prescribed in the form of courses for long-term treatment.
Sleeping pills and their dosages, the regimen of use are always prescribed taking into account the primary disease that led to sleep disturbances. Also, the features of the very nature of the sleep disorder are always taken into account.
Patients with persistent forms of the disease that do not respond to therapy have to be prescribed treatment for quite a long time.
The basic rules for this are that you should try not to prescribe two drugs at the same time, and when prescribing one drug, it is best to adhere to the minimum dosages. This is due to the above-mentioned peculiarity of the organism, which has been repeatedly mentioned, to quickly acquire resistance to drugs of this kind. If resistance, despite the implementation of the recommendations, still develops, then this is the reason for replacing the drug with another.
Although drug therapy for insomnia is the most important treatment, non-drug methods should not be forgotten, such as walking before bed in the evening, water treatments, psychotherapy. various methods of auto-training. Treatment with ultraviolet light is also applicable. Some patients are helped by such rarely described methods as applying heat to the nasal region, listening to soothing music. Audio cassettes are used with recordings of various sounds found in nature (the sound of the sea, forests, birdsong, etc.)