Insomnia - It is a condition characterized by a lack of sleep and poor habits of sleeping
  • individuals with insomnia have a lack of seratonin
Over 30 percent of American individuals suffer from insomnia,but about 10 percent suffer from this condition chronically
Seratonin is essential in several bodily functions such as a person's body temperaturem mood, appetite, sleep mood, behavior, body temperature, physical coordination, appetite and sleep

  • the area of the brain called the raphe nuclei. This particular part of the brain is significant because the nerve cells there use seratonin to communicate with each other.

Insomnia Overview

Most adults have experienced insomnia or sleeplessness at one time or another in their lives. An estimated 30-50% of the general population are affected by insomnia, and 10% have chronic insomnia.
Insomnia is a symptom, not a stand-alone diagnosis. By definition, insomnia is "difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep, or both." Although most of us know what insomnia is and how we feel and perform after one or more sleepless nights, few seek medical advice. Many people remain unaware of the behavioral and medical options available to treat insomnia.
Picture of stress
Picture of stress

Insomnia affects all age groups. Among older adults, insomnia affects women more often than men. The incidence increases with age.
Stress most commonly triggers short-term or acute insomnia. If you do not address your insomnia, however, it may develop into chronic insomnia.

Insomnia Causes

Insomnia may result from either psychological or physical causes:
  • The most common psychological problems include anxiety, stress, and depression. In fact, insomnia may be an indicator of depression. Many people will have insomnia during the acute phases of a mental illness.
  • Physiological causes span from circadian rhythm disorders, sleep-wake imbalance, to a variety of medical conditions. Following are the most common medical conditions that trigger insomnia:
    • Chronic pain syndrome
    • Congestive heart failure
    • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
    • Degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer disease (Often insomnia is the deciding factor for nursing home placement.)
* Certain groups are at higher risk for developing insomnia:
The need to sleep is critical
The need to sleep is critical

    • Travelers
    • Shift workers
    • Seniors
    • Adolescent or young adult students
    • People with chronic pain, cardiopulmonary disease
    • Pregnant women
    • Women in menopause
  • Certain medications have been associated with insomnia. Among them are certain over-the-counter cold and asthma preparations
    • The prescription varieties of these medications may also contain stimulants and thus produce similar effects on sleep.
    • Medications for high blood pressure have also been associated with poor sleep.
  • Common stimulants associated with poor sleep include caffeine and nicotine. You should consider not only restricting caffeine use in the hours immediately before bedtime but also limiting your total daily intake.
  • People often use alcohol to help induce sleep, as a nightcap. However, it is a poor choice. Alcohol is associated with sleep disruption and creates a sense of unsatisfactory sleep in the morning.
  • A disruptive bed partner with loud snoring or periodic leg movements also may impair your ability to get a good night's sleep.


Hypersomnia - A condition characterized by excessive amounts of sleep


Hypersomnia is usually describe as when an individual has excessive daytime sleepiness or by prolonged nighttime sleep. Even if a person with hypersomnia receives a decent amount of sleep, they will show show signs of drowsiness. Also, besides the sleepiness that surrounds this


disorder, other symptoms of hypersomnia may include a restlessness, increase irritation, slower thinking, and also slower speech.


Hypersomnia is a condition that has many different factors to it may occur. Some causes of hypersomnia could be from drug or alcohol abuse, heredity, the side effects of medication, and it can also be caused by autonomic nervous system dysfunction. Since the autonomic nervous system is responsible for regulating the physiologic processes of the human body, if an imbalance occurs, such as for one's blood pressure, this can eventually lead to hypersomnia.Another reason that hypersomnia may occur, relating to the central nervous system is through head trauma. When this type of injury takes place, the central nervous system is injured in a situation like this, and as a result, hypersomnia may occur Different people are more likely to hypersomnia that will be listed below.
  • People from age 13 to 30
  • Overweight individuals
  • People in a state of depression
  • As a result of chronic fatigue syndrome


Hypersomnia is also a condition that is treatable and there are many different variations of drugs that are available. Amphetamine, methyphenidate, and modafinil are some of the stimulants that will often be prescribed by from a doctor. Other drugs that will help treat hypersomnia are clonidine, levodopa, bromocriptine, antidepressants, and monoamine oxidase inhibitors. Although drugs in many cases can be used to help treat hypersomnia a different approach could be much more useful to another individual. For example, someone who is obese, which is a cause of hypersomnia may treat the condition by simply losing weight. Patients should also avoid the consumption of alcohol and coffee. Late night outings should often be avoided.