Sleep disorders

What is insomnia?

Insomnia (or insomnia is a persistent sleep disorder that persists over time. Insomnia is characterized by a complete or partial lack of sleep. Each case of insomnia is different. Treatment for insomnia begins with a careful analysis of the causes of insomnia. 

People with insomnia most often report:

  • difficulty falling asleep;
  • light sleep and frequent awakenings;
  • early awakening;
  • inability to fall asleep after a sudden awakening;
  • morning tiredness, weakness, headache;
  • impairment of memory, attention, concentration;
  • impaired cognitive functions of the brain (the ability to learn new things);
  • inadequate reactions to stimuli (aggression, indifference).

Over time, they develop a sense of anxious expectation of a sleepless night, and sometimes the fear of “I will not be able to sleep.” As a result, the pathology is aggravated and goes into a chronic phase.

Causes of insomnia.

Distinguish between objective and subjective causes of insomnia. Objective reasons include unfavorable conditions: heat, noise, an uncomfortable mattress or pillow, a change in lifestyle or habitual environment. Subjective conditions include an uncomfortable or even painful condition, physical or mental, including:

  • stress;
  • depression;
  • anxiety;
  • somatic diseases.

Insomnia can proceed in different ways. The most common sleep disorder, intrasomnic and postsomnic sleep disorders, hypersomnia . All of these disorders are classified in somnology as circadian rhythm disturbances. 

Sleep disorder.

This disorder includes difficulty falling asleep or inability to fall asleep. Patients with similar complaints eventually develop a fear of another sleepless night. Often, falling asleep disorder is associated with anxiety, fears, worries. If they are objective and amenable to elimination, the prognosis of treatment is favorable. In situations where anxiety and fear are a consequence of the disease, the doctor-somnologist considers insomnia in a complex. Perhaps the treatment will take place in parallel with the appointments of other specialists.

Intrasomnic disorders.

Normal healthy sleep should last all night without waking up. Small disturbances may not interfere with sound sleep. With intrasomnia , on the contrary, any sounds, movements and minor disturbances in the usual routine lead to frequent awakenings and the inability to fall asleep again. Intrasomnia is very often associated with sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome. Involuntary nocturnal awakenings are accompanied by other diseases: cardiovascular , neurological, hormonal, mental.

Post-somnolent disorders.

People with post-somnolent disorders do not immediately notice this pathology. They consider themselves to be early risers, manage to do a lot of things, but an abnormally short sleep duration leads to typical consequences. Fatigue, irritability, daytime sleepiness appear. Waking up too early shifts the day and night rhythm of life. The Center for Neurology and Sleep Medicine treats this disorder quite successfully.

Hypersomnia (increased sleepiness).

Increased sleepiness should not be confused with narcolepsy. Hypersomnia often develops against the background of psycho-traumatic factors, as a protective reaction of the body. Disruption of night sleep and, as a result, excessive dosages of sleeping pills can provoke hypersomnia . Increased sleepiness, unlike narcolepsy, can be treated with appropriate therapy. 

There are a number of recommendations for the prevention of insomnia, adhering to which, you can try to get rid of sleep disorders on your own. Try to do at least some of them and, perhaps, your sleep will improve again.

Here are these simple rules.

  1. Avoid taking stimulants such as caffeine and taurine. They are found in coffee, strong tea, chocolate, tonics and energy drinks.
  2. The last meal should be written no later than four hours before bedtime. Dinner should be moderately hearty, mild and low-fat dishes.  
  3. Take a short walk before bed.
  4. Ventilate your bedroom throughout the day. Dry and ventilate pillows, blankets and mattresses regularly. They shouldn’t be too soft. Ideal if the mattress and pillow are orthopedic. Bed linen must be made from natural materials. 
  5. Turn off all electrical appliances, indicators in the bedroom, remove luminous dials, close the windows with blackout curtains. Melatonin, which promotes restful and sound sleep, is actively produced in complete darkness.
  6. Contrary to popular belief that TV “falls asleep well”, this is fundamentally wrong! On the contrary, a working TV is the culprit of intrasomnia . 
  7. It is best to go to bed at the same time, avoiding the temptation to lie down for an hour during the day. Although, it is better to discuss this point in detail with a somnologist.
  8. The doctor’s prescriptions should be followed carefully. This is especially true for taking sleeping pills.

If adhering to these rules still does not bring the desired healthy sleep, it is recommended to establish the cause of the insomnia and begin treatment.

Sleep disorders diagnostics

Sleep disorders examination methods are grouped under one general name polysomnography . A polysomnographic examination is prescribed to identify sleep pathologies and their causes. This can be an examination at the Center for Neurology and Sleep Medicine or at home. In the laboratory, a whole spectrum of surveillance is used, including video recording. At home, compact devices are used that the patient can easily connect on their own. 

Subjective feelings of the patient, as well as observations of relatives, are of great importance for examination and diagnosis. Based on the results of the examination, the somnologist prescribes treatment. If the need arises, the treatment is prescribed after a consultation of specialists – a psychologist, a neurologist, an endocrinologist and a doctor of functional diagnostics.

Insomnia – treatment and accurate diagnosis

Insomnia and other sleep disorders are not a separate medical condition. This pathology is closely related to a number of somatic pathologies. Therefore, doctors are trying to find out and eliminate the true causes of insomnia.

Specialist consultations and a diagnostic examination help to identify which particular disease caused the sleep disturbance:

  • snoring and apnea;
  • depression or other disorders;
  • restless legs syndrome
  • narcolepsy
  • teeth grinding during sleep (bruxism). 

The competent practitioner of the Center for Neurology and Sleep Medicine will determine the cause or several causes, diagnose and prescribe a comprehensive treatment.

The Center uses innovative and traditional therapy, including:

  • MDM treatment (impact on the relaxation center in the brain with a weak current); 
  • electrosleep treatment;
  • color therapy (to restore the balance between the central and autonomic nervous system). 

Of course, the main emphasis in sleep correction is on drug therapy. However, to begin with, patients are helped to get rid of addiction to sleeping pills. Only after that a new drug regimen is developed, in combination with an anti-stress program. Additionally, an individual diet is prescribed, enriched with vitamins and mineral supplements. The attending physician gives advice on sleep hygiene and lifestyle optimization.

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