Insomnia is a sleep disorder in which patients have trouble falling and staying asleep. It's a serious condition that can be short-term (acute insomnia) or long-term (chronic insomnia. For some people, however, it comes and goes.
This article is a short overview of the different types of insomnia, etiology, epidemiology, and treatments.
What is Insomnia?
Insomnia is mainly divided into two types; primary and secondary. Both of them are characterized by sleep problems that can create troubles in day-to-day activities, such as exercising, maintaining awake, appetite, and more.
Primary insomnia refers to patients that do not have any other health condition that correlates to sleep troubles. This means that patients do not have a defined etiology. Patients do not have insomnia because of mental health disorders, pain, cancer, etc.
On the other hand, secondary insomnia refers to patients that do have a direct etiology for trouble sleeping. These health conditions tend to be mental health, such as PTSD, asthma, depression, cancer, heartburn, pain, medication, or substance abuse. However, there are cases where people have insomnia because of other causes.
Etiology of Insomnia
Insomnia, as mentioned above, has two types. Primary insomnia has different causes than secondary insomnia.
The main causes of primary insomnia include stress related to big life events, such as job loss or change, the death of a loved one, divorce, or moving. Moreover, it can be caused by noise, light, or uncomfortable temperatures, in the environment in which a person sleeps. Sometimes, changes to your sleep schedule, such as jetlag, shift changes, or bad habits, may result in sleep problems.
For patients with secondary insomnia, the etiology is completely different. Most patients have mental health issues, medications that create discomfort, physical issues that create pain, caffeine, tobacco, or alcohol use, hyperthyroidism, and other endocrine problems, as well as other sleeping disorders.
Symptoms of Insomnia
Patients with insomnia have sleep schedules that create secondary symptoms. The following are symptoms caused by uneven and low-quality sleep:
Sleepiness during the day
Problems with concentration
Partial memory loss
How can technology and nootropics help patients?
The first way that technology may help patients is through facilitating communication between clinicians. Though this may not be thought of as a direct way help to the patient, it is very important. By providing medical journeys, multiple healthcare professionals are involved in the care of the patient. These technologies also reduce prescription errors. This is because there is constant communication between the pharmacies and the doctors. In conclusion, it allows an extensive interconnection of information, which eliminates many errors and helps provide the best service for each patient.
Nootropics, also known as "smart drugs" or "cognitive enhancers", help patients by increasing energy, focus, and memory. Natural nootropics may also help regulate blood circulation and oxygen flow to the brain, leading to higher cognitive functions in patients who have had sleeping issues.
Insomnia is mainly dived into two types; primary and secondary, The main difference is whether health conditions affect sleep, or if life events affect it. Moreover, some people have sleep-onset insomnia, referring to difficulty falling asleep. Others have sleep-maintenance insomnia, occurring when sleep is disrupted throughout the night. Lastly, some patients have terminal insomnia, which is the inability to fall asleep after waking up before the desired wake-up time. In clinal settings, it is not uncommon to find patients that have more than one of these types. Visiting a doctor can help reduce insomniac symptoms and increase your energy throughout the day.
Unwired India is a neurotech-startup that aims at integrating state-of-the-art research and developments in STEM, for catalyzing the transition of Neuroscience to Neurotechnology. We develop avant-garde non-invasive neurostimulation products used to solve some of the world’s most critical global issues and challenges. Our mission is to take cutting-edge brain research directly into the lives and homes of people, thereby fostering a unique culture of sustainable neuroscience and scientific literacy in India.
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A friendly reminder: We've done our research, but you should too! Check our sources against your own and always exercise sound judgment.
https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/insomnia https://www.businessinsider.in/science/health/news/smart-drugs-are-real-heres-whats-scientifically-proven-and-how-to-tell-if-nootropics-are-right-for-you/articleshow/83382994.cms https://www.healthitoutcomes.com/doc/ways-technology-improving-patient-safety-0001 https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/insomnia-symptoms-and-causes Image Credits: https://www.goodpath.com/learn/insomnia-causes
About The Author
Guest Writer for The Hope Project
Abhigyan Sahoo is a high school student who is passionate about learning Psychology and Neuroscience. He wants to communicate and create awareness of disorders and diseases that affect neurological and psychological aspects of life. During his free time, he enjoys reading, writing, and drawing Mandalas.