Length: 755 words (2.2 double-spaced pages)
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Insomnia Almost everyone experiences insomnia now and then. When one believes he must be in bed by a certain time every night or that he needs a certain number of hours of sleep, it may be the very thing that is preventing him from going to sleep (Munson 21). It is unfortunately true that many people still suffer from poor sleep but do not know that there are numerous programs that can help them. Insomnia, which is due to various causes and includes a vaiety of symptoms, can be reduced or eliminated in a number of ways. Stress is one of the main causes in determining insomnia. It is a fact of every day life and can be defined as any event which causes a significant emotional response. Happy occasions such as getting married, promoted, or going on a vacation can cause stress reaction, not only because because participation in the event is occurring but also in the preparation. More obvious events that occur throughout one's life are the loss of a job, a loved one, or the need for surgery. In such major life changes, the sources of the emotional response is much more easily identified (Shapiro MacFarlane Hussain 49). There are two types of stress: bad stress or negative stress which destroys your ability to operate at capacity, mentally and physically and good stress which improves your performance (Shapiro 49-50). There are different ways to reduce stress. One should try to find a job he really enjoys. It is not the stress of work that wears one out but the stress of frustration and failure. Two big causes of stress on the job are not knowing what is expected and not having adequate facts or tools. Escaping for a while is another method to help eliminate stress. One can visit a friend, go to a movie, or shop. When he returns, he can attempt to cope with the problem. However, it does not help to keep escaping, the individual should try to cope with problems as promptly as they arise (Hauri 111). Even though it is often difficult to make changes in lifestyle, the effort is worth it. Exchanging stress for a sense of control can lift a heavy weight from one's shoulders. The more control one has over his life during the day, the more likely it is that his night time sleep will become satisfying again (Hauri 113).
One factor that may affect one's sleeping pattern is age. As people grow older, the quality of sleep usually deteriorates and the sleep becomes less efficient, lighter, and less restful. In addition, irregular times of going to sleep and waking up make sleeping more difficult because one's body gets used to sleep at a certain time (Willis 3). There are some measures which can be taken to help prevent insomnia. Reducing one's caffeine intake is one. Often insomniacs are very sensitive to this stimulant and thus may be unable to sleep after only one cup of soda or coffee in the afternoon. Therefore if one has a persistent problem falling asleep, he might try to do without caffeine completely (Hauri 52). A second prevention is by limiting alcohol. Many people use alcohol as a sleeping aid to induce sleep which can be a stimulant. In addition, some alcoholics report that their problem began with bedtime drinking (Shapiro 79). A third prevention is getting rid of cigarettes. Nicotine, a drug contained in cigarette smoke can affect ones ability to sleep. Studies show cigarettes raise blood pressure, speed up the heart rate, and stimulates brainwave activity. Sleep often improves dramatically in smokers who quit (Sweeney 49). For these reasons remedies are often successful. For example sleeping in a well ventilated room, avoiding heavy meals before bedtime, reading a relaxing book, or drinking warm milk before retiring. If these steps fail, a physician may prescribe sleeping pills to help restore normal sleeping habits while the cause of the insomnia is still being researched, severe insomnia may require treatment by psychiatrist ("Insomnia" 127). As a result insomnia has a variety of symptoms and includes various causes in which there is no one program for everyone with this disorder. In fact, when it comes to recommendations, what is good for one kind of insomnia may very well be bad for another. The more we learn about insomnia, the more we realize just how important sleep is to our health and the quality of our entire lives. Therefore the importance of studying it is unimaginable.