Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that can make it hard to fall asleep, hard to stay asleep, or cause you to wake up too early and not be able to get back to sleep. You may still feel tired when you wake up. Insomnia can sap not only your energy level and mood but also your health, work performance and quality of life.
How much sleep is enough varies from person to person, but most adults need seven to eight hours a night.
At some point, many adults experience short-term (acute) insomnia, which lasts for days or weeks. It's usually the result of stress or a traumatic event. But some people have long-term (chronic) insomnia that lasts for a month or more. Insomnia may be the primary problem, or it may be associated with other medical conditions or medications.
Causes- Chronic insomnia is usually a result of stress, life events or habits that disrupt sleep. Treating the underlying cause can resolve the insomnia, but sometimes it can last for years.
Common causes of chronic insomnia include:
Stress. Concerns about work, school, health, finances or family can keep your mind active at night, making it difficult to sleep. Stressful life events or trauma — such as the death or illness of a loved one, divorce, or a job loss — also may lead to insomnia.
Travel or work schedule. Your circadian rhythms act as an internal clock, guiding such things as your sleep-wake cycle, metabolism and body temperature. Disrupting your body's circadian rhythms can lead to insomnia. Causes include jet lag from traveling across multiple time zones, working a late or early shift, or frequently changing shifts.
Poor sleep habits. Poor sleep habits include an irregular bedtime schedule, naps, stimulating activities before bed, an uncomfortable sleep environment, and using your bed for work, eating or watching TV. Computers, TVs, video games, smartphones or other screens just before bed can interfere with your sleep cycle.
Eating too much late in the evening. Having a light snack before bedtime is OK, but eating too much may cause you to feel physically uncomfortable while lying down. Many people also experience heartburn, a backflow of acid and food from the stomach into the esophagus after eating, which may keep you awake.
Chronic insomnia may also be associated with medical conditions or the use of certain drugs. Treating the medical condition may help improve sleep, but the insomnia may persist after the medical condition improves.
Additional common causes of insomnia include:
Mental health disorders. Anxiety disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, may disrupt your asleep. Awakening too early can be a sign of depression. Insomnia often occurs with other mental health disorders as well.
Medications. Many prescription drugs can interfere with sleep, such as certain antidepressants and medications for asthma or blood pressure. Many over-the-counter medications — such as some pain medications, allergy and cold medications, and weight-loss products — contain caffeine and other stimulants that can disrupt sleep.
Medical conditions. Examples of conditions linked with insomnia include chronic pain, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), overactive thyroid, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease.
Sleep-related disorders. Sleep apnea causes you to stop breathing periodically throughout the night, interrupting your sleep. Restless legs syndrome causes unpleasant sensations in your legs and an almost irresistible desire to move them, which may prevent you from falling asleep.
Caffeine, nicotine and alcohol. Coffee, tea, cola and other caffeinated drinks are stimulants. Drinking them in the late afternoon or evening can keep you from falling asleep at night. Nicotine in tobacco products is another stimulant that can interfere with sleep. Alcohol may help you fall asleep, but it prevents deeper stages of sleep and often causes awakening in the middle of the night.
Insomnia and aging
Insomnia becomes more common with age. As you get older, you may experience:
Changes in sleep patterns. Sleep often becomes less restful as you age, so noise or other changes in your environment are more likely to wake you. With age, your internal clock often advances, so you get tired earlier in the evening and wake up earlier in the morning. But older people generally still need the same amount of sleep as younger people do.
Changes in activity. You may be less physically or socially active. A lack of activity can interfere with a good night's sleep. Also, the less active you are, the more likely you may be to take a daily nap, which can interfere with sleep at night.
Changes in health. Chronic pain from conditions such as arthritis or back problems as well as depression or anxiety can interfere with sleep. Issues that increase the need to urinate during the night ―such as prostate or bladder problems ― can disrupt sleep. Sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome become more common with age.
More medications. Older people typically use more prescription drugs than younger people do, which increases the chance of insomnia associated with medications.
Insomnia in children and teens
Sleep problems may be a concern for children and teenagers as well. However, some children and teens simply have trouble getting to sleep or resist a regular bedtime because their internal clocks are more delayed. They want to go to bed later and sleep later in the morning.
Risk factors
Nearly everyone has an occasional sleepless night. But your risk of insomnia is greater if:
·         You're a woman. Hormonal shifts during the menstrual cycle and in menopause may play a role. During menopause, night sweats and hot flashes often disrupt sleep. Insomnia is also common with pregnancy.
·         You're over age 60. Because of changes in sleep patterns and health, insomnia increases with age.
You have a mental health disorder or physical health condition. Many issues that impact your mental or physical health can disrupt sleep.
You're under a lot of stress. Stressful times and events can cause temporary insomnia. And major or long-lasting stress can lead to chronic insomnia.
You don't have a regular schedule. For example, changing shifts at work or traveling can disrupt your sleep-wake cycle.
Sleep is as important to your health as a healthy diet and regular physical activity. Whatever your reason for sleep loss, insomnia can affect you both mentally and physically. People with insomnia report a lower quality of life compared with people who are sleeping well.
Complications of insomnia may include:
Lower performance on the job or at school
Slowed reaction time while driving and a higher risk of accidents
Mental health disorders, such as depression, an anxiety disorder or substance abuse
Increased risk and severity of long-term diseases or conditions, such as high blood pressure and heart disease
Insomnia symptoms may include:
·         Difficulty falling asleep at night
·         Waking up during the night
·         Waking up too early
·         Not feeling well-rested after a night's sleep
·         Daytime tiredness or sleepiness
·         Irritability, depression or anxiety
·         Difficulty paying attention, focusing on tasks or remembering
·         Increased errors or accidents
·         On going worries about sleep
Homoeopathic remedies are very effective for insomnia . Some of the important remedies are given below.
COFFEA CRUDA 30-Coffea cruda is one of the top remedies for insomnia of acute origin. Coffea cruda is prescribed when the mind is charged  by an excessive inflow of thoughts and ideas at the time of sleep.Sometimes it is caused by joy, pleasurable excitement or sudden happy surprises as well as unexpected bad news. Such a state may also be found in those who drink too much wine or in those over- fatigued from long journeys . When the person lies down to attempt to sleep , the mind is simply awake with a flow of ideas.

NUX VOMICA 30-Nux vomica is prescribed when the insomnia is due to the abuse of stimulants e.g.Alohol, wine,  coffee, smoking or by over work or excess studying .. Nux vomica patient can often fall asleep early , but awakens at 3 or 4 am. with great mental activity or worries. When the time to rise rolls around the patient finally feels able to sleep but instead must get up in a tired , irritable state. Nux vomica is prescribed to irritable, easily angered and impatient people.  They are often chilly , nervous and excitable.

ACONITUM NALELLUS 30-Aconitum napelus is prescribed to those patients who are restless and excited with an anguished kind of fear. This sate of mind often comes in the early stages of a sudden acute illness, often after a chill. But this state may also be caused by a shock or fright, such as a serious accident , natural disaster, or operation.

CHAMOMILLA 30-Chamomilla is another top remedy for insomnia. Chamomilla patients are irritable and uncivil. They are often frantic with pain or irritability and say they cannot stand it. Chamomilla patients are drowsy during the day , but unable to sleep in spite of sleeplessness. This type of irritability is seen in teething infants who insist on being carried , or in adults who will walk the floor.

ARNICA MONTANA 30-Arnica Montana is an effective remedy for sleeplessness due to physical or mental over exertion . The patient is overtired but cannot sleep and may feel bruised or the bed may feel too hard.

ALFALFA Q- Alfalfa is effective for sleep better in morning. It induces quite, peaceful, and refreshing sleep .

COCCULUS INDICUS 30-Cocculus  patients are sleepless from exhaustion. In Cocculus insomnia often comes from loss of sleep associated with night watching or nursing ill persons.  Their sleep may be interrupted by waking and starting. Cocculus patients are emotionally sensitive , easily offended, and intolerant of contradiction or they may be extremely sad.

NATRUM MURIATICUM 200-Natrum mur is effective for insomnia due to grief and unpleasant events of the past.

AURUM METALLICUM 200-Aurum metallicum is effective for insomnia due to profound  depression, melancholic mood and sleeplessness with negative thoughts occupying mind. The negative thoughts could include a feeling of worthlessness, hopelessness, a desire to end life and suicidal thoughts.

AVENA SATIVA Q- Avena sativa is prescribed  for insomnia due to alcoholism or morphine habits.

IGNATIA AMARA 200- Ignatia amara is prescribed for insomnia due to grief and an event like death. There is continuous  yawing and a fear that she can never sleep again.

KALI PHOSPHORICUM 30-Kali phos is prescribed for insomnia from anxiety and stress. Kali phos may also be prescribed for insomnia resulting from over exertion of mind and body.

BARYTA CARB. 200 -Baryta carb. is effective for insomnia of elderly  people. It is prescribed  when a person feels sleepy but cannot sleep. Also there is great help for treatment of disturbed sleep and sleep with anxious dreams.

PASSIFLORA INCARNATA Q- Passiflora is considered to be a specific remedy for insomnia. It is the best remedy for sleeplessness among aged people that is accompanied by restlessness . Passiflora is also an effective remedy for insomnia of alcoholics.

ARSENIC ALBUM 200-Arsenic alb is an effective remedy for sleeplessness due to restlessness. There is inability to fall asleep or waking up at about 2 am due to anxiety. Great restlessness with a great need  to get up and walk about in the room. Sleepy but unable to sleep . Child tosses in bed and kicks the cloths .

AMBRA GRISEA 30- Ambra grisea is effective for insomnia due to worries or business problems.

CANNABIS INDICA Q- Cannabis indica is effective for obstinate and severe forms of insomnia. The patient is sleepy , but cannot to do so.

PISCIDIA Q- Pisidia is effective for insomnia due to worry, nervous excitement , dysmenorrhoea, cough and pain.

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