Insomnia Symptom: Should You Ignore It Or Deal With It?

By: Michael Jones

At what point do you regard an insomnia symptom as serious?

Many people reluctantly seek medical advice only after much coaxing from family and friends.

Yet when the problem affects a family member or friend, the same individual may be the very one coaxing them to seek medical advice. That's human nature it seems!

How can you get a balance and know when to seek or recommend medical attention or just give the problem time and see if it rectifies itself?

Webster's Dictionary defines insomnia as: "prolonged and usually abnormal inability to obtain adequate sleep."

The U.S. National Institute Of Health categorizes insomnia this way:

1. Transient insomnia is just a temporary sleep problem lasting a few days or even a couple of weeks.

2. Intermittent insomnia refers to temporary sleep problems that last a few days or weeks re-occurring from time to time.

3. Chronic insomnia is when a person is unable to obtain adequate sleep most nights which goes on for a month and longer.

With that criteria you can now evaluate the insomnia symptom that is causing you concern.

If it falls into categories 1 and 2 it is unlikely to be serious.

Sleeping tablets and medications or natural remedies can improve sleep duration and quality and make the insomnia symptom disappear.

For example, natural sleeping remedies can include giving attention to bedtime routine, exercise routines, chromotherapy, breathing exercises, music, warm baths, stress relievers, herbs, vitamins, diet, chamomile, valerian, and lavender.

Exploring any of these options may be enough to combat the minor insomnia symptom that is causing concern. (For information on all these sleep inducing methods and more, see the resource box below.)

Of course, any medication, whether it is over-the-counter or prescribed can have side effects and a user is wise to check with a medical practitioner, especially if the individual is already using other medications.

Chronic insomnia is another story. An ongoing sleep problem can have a major impact on a person's quality of life, performance at work, and social behavior.

In such cases medical attention is advised. A doctor will probably try and ascertain the underlying medical or even psychological cause of the insomnia symptom and prescribe a course of treatment accordingly.

This may include medicine, or a variety of therapies such as relaxation, sleep restriction, and reconditioning.

In conclusion, if you are concerned about an insomnia symptom, either for yourself or a loved one, make an appraisal of which category it falls into. If it is category 1 or 2, transient or intermittent, it can probably be ignored or overcome with short term sleeping pills or natural remedies.

If however the insomnia symptom falls into category 3, chronic insomnia, deal with it, without delay!

Sleep Disorders
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