The Causes and Effects of Sleeplessness
OCP: Can I ask you anything about sleepé Breus: Certainly, go ahead and ask meyour question. OCP: Uh I hear all different kinds of theorieson sleep. Can you explain some of the real causes ofsleeplessnessé Breus: Sure. It's amazing how many differentpotential causes of sleeplessness There are in today's world. One physical change in our world over a centuryago Was the invention of the light bulb.
Before the invention of the light bulb, Most people went to bed when it was dark And woke up when it was light And as a result everyone got more sleep. Times have changed though and the fact is The light bulb is here to stay As well as several other physical influenceson our sleep patterns. Some of these other physical influences onour sleep
Can include noise or even pets in the bed. One of the most common causes of sleeplessnessin the US today Is actually caffeine because it stays in oursystem Between 8 to 10 hours after consumption. OCP: All right maybe I should switch to decaf. Breus: It's not a bad idea. And you know what another significant physicalinfluence on our sleep is pain. I see patients in the pain center
And I study the effects of pain on sleep And I can tell you it has a significant effect. Pain prevents you from being able to fallasleep And also keeps you in the lighter stages ofsleep. This results in less quality and quantityof sleep. OCP: But I mean one of my big problems Is that I can't turn my brain off at night. I mean, how common is thaté
Breus: It's incredibly common. Aside from the physical influences that affectour sleep, Mental influences also take their toll onsleeplessness. Not being able to turn off your brain is oftena sign of nighttime anxiety. Anxiety can make someone too wired to fallasleep Interrupting their sleep patterns and notallowing them to rest their bodies As well as their minds. This can make youforget things. OCP: Oh you're totally right. I had to planthis barbecue last week
And I lost so much sleep over it, I forgotto buy the barbecue sauce. Breus: Not getting enough sleep can certainlymake you forgetful. But stress from family and social life suchas marital issues, Problems involving children, death in thefamily, Or even planning a wedding or party can certainlycontribute to sleeplessness. For some simple tips on how to help you getto sleep better If pain is a contributing issue to your sleeplessness, Visit AdvilPM
How to Diagnose Sleep Disorders Transient Insomnia
So, I just wanted to take a minute, to justgive some examples of transient insomnia and chronic insomnia. I want to talk about thedifferences and talk about some of the underlying reasons for insomnia that can make it lastbeyond just a week or two. Transient insomnia is something that most of us experience atvarious points within our lives. It's a response to stress. It's a response to grief or depression.It can also be a response due to a change in sleep schedule or work schedule. Sometimes,people experience transient insomnia because, for whatever reason, they've been consumingcaffeine later in the day. Generally, people who drink caffeine only during the morning,for some reason will have a night of bad sleep.
They'll need to pick up caffeine later inthe day to makeup for that lack of sleep. Then, the caffeine doesn't leave their bodyquickly enough, and whether they realize it or not, that extra cup of coffee or that glassof soda that you had around 5 o'clock is keeping you awake at night. Transient insomnia comesand goes. It'll usually go away in about a week or two, when you resolve the grief orstress, or when you treat the depression that's causing it. Chronic insomnia has its own causes.Sometimes chronic insomnia runs in families; rarely it does. It is a combination of notonly genetic factors but a learned behavior. If a child grows up knowing that quot;we don'tsleep well, in this familyquot;, it can affect
their own mental state as it relates to sleep.There is a strong connection between the psychology of the patient and the quality of their sleep.Sleep is not just a physical thing; there are a lot of psychological factors involved.There is a very rare type of insomnia called fatal familial insomnia and the incident ofthis is so rare that it is rarely mentioned outside of the corridors of sleep disordersfacilities. As the title implies, it's genetic and it's fatal. It's caused by a lack of sleepthat cannot be cured through any sort of sedation means. It progresses to dementia and to death.I mentioned it only because it's something that gets mentioned in the popular culture,every once and awhile. Someone will read something
online about fatal familial insomnia andthey think, quot;Oh crap, I can't sleep. I have thatquot;. It's so rare that a would haveto tell you, for sure, whether you have it or didn't have it. It's not anything to beconcerned about if you're having about of insomnia or if a number of people in yourfamily have insomnia. I think that you would know if it were to be a fatal or terminalillness.