What is insomnia?

When you have trouble staying asleep or falling asleep at least three times a week, you probably have insomnia. Insomnia is the main sleep disorder that manifests with difficulty falling asleep and / or frequent awakenings during the night. Anyone can fall victim to insomnia. When insomnia is transient (one or two nights), there is no need to worry. Everyone can go through a stressful time when sleep becomes hard to find. 

However, when it becomes difficult to sleep or go back to sleep more than 3 times a week and this for more than 3 months, there is reason to worry. It is chronic insomnia that must not be underestimated. It can cause not only chronic fatigue, but also depression.

Causes of insomnia

Insomnia is not a disease but a symptom. Before thinking of curing it, one must first of all determine the causes of insomnia. These causes are numerous. It is :

-Psychological causes: They are the cause of about 50% of all cases of insomnia. It’s about stress, anxiety and depression. When you have trouble sleeping properly on several days in a row, you worry about getting a bad night. This fear of insomnia increases stress. The sleep that must be the peaceful moment or you recover the hassle of the day then becomes a source of stress. This stress can make your sleep even more difficult, which will lead you into a vicious circle.

-Environmental causes and lifestyle: Noise, bad mattress, heat, excessive consumption of alcohol and / or coffee, overwork.

Organic causes: Insomnia can also have an organic cause, such as restless legs syndrome or sleep apnea. Restless legs syndrome is characterized by irresistible urges to move your legs, especially during periods of relaxation. It is very common in pregnant women. Sleep apnea is another organic cause of insomnia. It often appears in people who are overweight or who snore a lot; it causes breathing pauses of a few seconds or more several times during the night, which may or may not cause conscious awakenings. It is not easy to detect.

Insomnia and pregnancy

Are you pregnant and have trouble sleeping? You are not the only one ! 45% of pregnant women suffer from insomnia in the first trimester of pregnancy, 47% in the second and 64% in the third. Insomnia can occur at any time during pregnancy. However, it is observed that the rate of insomnia is high especially during the third trimester of pregnancy. In fact, during the third trimester of pregnancy, physical discomfort, anxiety, stressors, fetal movements, or the need to urinate are factors that fragment sleep. The quantity and quality of sleep decrease considerably. If these insomnia do not have a negative impact on the development of the baby, it is necessary to react to these inconveniences that affect the quality of life of the mothers.

Insomnia and cancer

Many people who have cancer have difficulty sleeping. Indeed, cancer or its treatments can impact your sleep-wake cycle and change your sleep patterns. Sleep disorders, such as insomnia or fatigue, can make it more difficult to adapt to the situation and other symptoms of the disease and / or side effects of treatment are more serious.

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