Insomnia affects an estimated 50 to 70 million Americans and 80% of those who suffer from it never report it to their healthcare provider. (Holcomb, 2007) Insomnia is most commonly defined as experiencing difficulty initiating and/or maintaining sleep. Most of us are all too familiar with the occasional sleepless night and how it can affect everything from our ability at work to our appetite. Disturbances in sleep are known to cause multiple impairments in regular daytime functions. Now imagine experiencing that more than 3 times a week.
In years past, insomnia was considered more of a symptom, not disorder. However, due to a recent increased interest in the causes and reasoning for insomnia, it is more often being thought of as a distinct disorder. There are many treatments for insomnia, both medical and non-medical, and professionals agree that no one should have to suffer from sleepless nights.
What is insomnia? What causes insomnia? How can one suffering from it treat insomnia? These are questions that more and more professionals are attempting to answer through the increasingly rigorous studies being more commonly conducted. There are some very interesting answers to the aforementioned questions that will be explored in the following pages.
Drake, Roehrs & Roth (2003) clinically define insomnia as “the experience of inadequate, insufficient, or non restorative sleep despite ample time in bed.”(p. 163) Most clinicians agree that there at least two most common types of insomnia. The first and most common type of insomnia is called acute insomnia. Acute insomnia is also referred to as short term or transient insomnia. The second type is referred to as chronic insomnia, which is more long term.
The seemingly most common cause for insomnia, especially acute insomnia, is stress. Environmental changes in one’s life such as job change, death in the family, deadlines, and socioeconomic issues tend to contribute most commonly to sleep...