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Mujer en la cama con insomnio


What it is?

Insomnia is defined as persistent difficulty in initiating or maintaining sleep or due to early awakening that affects our functioning during the day.  Insomnia can be chronic or acute depending on its duration.

The prevalence of acute insomnia in the general population  on some occasion throughout life, is very high, some studies estimate that it is 48% of the population and two out of three cases become chronic .

Insomnia is more common in women and the probability of suffering from it increases with age.

Stress is one of the main risk factors.  So are obsessive behaviors...

What consequences does it have?

Among the consequences of insomnia are fatigue, tiredness, attention problems, cognitive problems, irritability, nervousness, anxiety, mood swings, depressed mood.

High blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, increased risk of cardiovascular disease, increased risk of stroke, among others, are some of the consequences that insomnia can cause, depending on the case and its severity.

What treatment does it have?

The first line treatment for chronic insomnia is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. 

This therapy consists of various specific techniques.  These also include the Relaxation Techniques. 

Drugs are not recommended in the treatment of chronic insomnia, unless there is some other cause that makes it necessary. 

In the treatment of acute insomnia, sin  however, if the doctor prescribes hypnotics and other drugs during specified periods of time.

How is it diagnosed?

A Clinical Diagnosis of the patient is carried out based on his antecedents and medical history. It is also common to be asked to carry out a Sleep Diary or to administer certain scales or questionnaires.  Actigraphy can also be performed and if the specialist considers it appropriate, a Polysomnography.

What are the symptoms?

In addition to difficulties at night, such as taking a long time to fall asleep, having many awakenings and problems getting back to sleep or waking up too early ; chronic insomnia leads to at least one of the following daytime consequences:  fatigue or malaise, problems with attention, concentration or memory, mood changes, daytime sleepiness, lack of motivation, difficulties in the field occupational, social, family, academic, tendency to errors and accidents, among others.​

It must be taken into account that on many occasions it is the reason for consultation but in reality it is the symptom of another disease, treatment, substance abuse,  or other underlying factors that are causing it._d04a07d8- 9cd1-3239-9149-20813d6c673b_

Also keep in mind that having any or all of the symptoms mentioned does not mean that you have this disease, just as having none does not imply the opposite. It is always necessary that you go to a specialist doctor so that he can evaluate it.

How can I obtain more information?

Go to a Sleep Center or Unit or your family doctor. They may refer you to a neurologist, psychiatrist or psychologist or other specialists depending on whether or not there are comorbidities.

Parallel to medical or psychological treatment, a dream coach, it can help you understand the mechanisms that interfere with healthy sleep and can help you comply with your doctor's recommendations.  You can also expand your knowledge about sleep hygiene measures, relaxation techniques etc, with the realization of online courses.

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