Basic review of insomnia as well as importance of sleep

Insomnia is a sleep problem is which the person has problems with their sleep pattern. It affects each person differently. Some people have problems falling asleep while others have problems staying asleep. There are others who seem to sleep well when actually their pattern of sleep is not one which goes thru the entire sleep cycle. To understand insomnia and the effects it can have on a human body’s health, it is important to learn about sleep, sleep’s normal cycle and why sleep is an important component of a healthy lifestyle.

Sleep is when the human body repairs the damage which happens while awake. The study of sleep is new and how sleep effects the body is not completely known. But researchers do know that humans can go longer without food than without sleep. Mice that don’t sleep get sick and die faster than mice that don’t eat.

A sleep cycle has five stages. Stage-1 is a light sleep when all bodily functions start slowing down but the sleeper can still be easily wakened. Stage-2 is when eye motions stops and brain waves begin to slow down.

In Stage-3, the brain slows down even more and the slowest brain waves start to appear. These brain waves are called delta waves and during Stage-4, the brain waves are almost completely delta waves. Stage-3 and State-4 are known as deep sleep and during Stage-4 it becomes very hard to wake the sleeper. Stage-5 is called REM sleep and during this stage there are rapid eye movements, and rapid breathing. This is the stage where people dream.

Researchers believe that quality, recuperative sleep happens when a person goes through four or five sleep cycles during a sleeping period.

Lack of sleep first affects the brain, so researchers believe the brain needs to rest in order to revive itself or reorder data and may also need to purge itself of waste products produced while awake. People kept awake for days begin to have mental problems such as inability to concentrate, hallucinations, and memory problems.

During sleep, researchers also found that metabolic rates and energy use are reduced. The cardiovascular system slows down during sleep with blood pressure and heart rates dropping. There is the replacement of chemicals, muscles are totally rested and growth hormones in children are released.

Often insomnia is actually a secondary symptom of another medical illness. It could be a sign of chronic stress, depression, anxiety, sleep apnea, heart disease, or diabetes. Because of this it is important to see a doctor if you are having trouble sleeping.

If insomnia only occurs time to time, it is commonly referred to as “intermittent insomnia”. This is the type of insomnia that occurs when a person is traveling or is worried about a temporary problem and is usually nothing to be concerned about. When insomnia last for a period of three weeks to six months it is knows as “acute insomnia”.

But the problem is when insomnia last from month-to-month for years and is referred to as “chronic insomnia”. Major health problems can be caused by chronic problems sleeping. They are many and vary from obesity to fibromyalgia. Some can even be fatal. Many researchers state that chronic problems sleeping is a larger death risk than high blood pressure, smoking, and heart disease.