Knowhow-Now Article

What Is Insomnia

Sleep is an essential part of good health. A good night's sleep can help you feel good, look healthy, work effectively and think clearly.

But sleep is not always so easy to come by. If you sometimes have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, you're not alone. A 1991 Gallup study found that more than one-third of all Americans suffer occasional or chronic insomnia.

People often are surprised to learn that daytime drowsiness is not an inevitable, harmless byproduct of modern life, but rather a key sign of a sleep problem that could be disastrous if not treated.

Recent figures show that nearly a quarter of the population regularly cannot go to, or remain asleep, and every year doctors write out more than 14 million prescriptions for sleeping tablets.

The causes of sleeplessness are many and varied. 'It can be due to a medical condition, such as chronic pain from rheumatism or arthritis,' says Professor Jim Horne, who runs the Sleep Research Laboratory at Loughborough University. 'Or it can be chemical, as a result of drinking tea, coffee or alcohol. Chronic or long-term insomnia is often associated with depression or anxiety, and environmental factors certainly contribute.'

And sleepless nights, staring wild-eyed into the darkness, are worse than bad dreams,

For too many people--an estimated 9 percent of the American population--a good night's sleep is an elusive goal. The consequences of fatigue from chronic sleeplessness include accidents in the car and at work, a dramatically increased risk of major depression, and worsening physical illness.

Immediate relief is available, in the form of hypnotic agents, for persons who have difficulty in falling or remaining asleep or who cannot obtain restful, restorative slumber. However, long-term improvement usually involves behavioral therapy. These therapeutic approaches must be integrated if the patient's short- and long-term needs are to be addressed.

Thee's many ways in which insomnia affects us sufferers. According to WebMD these are just some of the effects of poor sleep upon insomniacs:

1. Sleepiness causes accidents

2. Sleep loss dumbs us down

3. Sleep deprivation leads to serious health problems

4. Lack of sleep kills sex drive

5. Sleepiness is depressing

6. Lack of sleep ages your skin

7. Sleepiness makes you forgetful

8. Lack of sleep can make you gain weight

9. Lack of sleep may increase the risk of death

10. Sleep loss impairs judgement, especially about sleep.

See the full article on WebMD about the effects of lack of sleep on our lives: CLICK HERE!

More information about why good sleep is so important to our health is here: CLICK HERE!

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