health May 23, 2021
My daughter was taking a nap and I happened to walk by and notice how peaceful she looked. My camera was within an arms reach so it just seemed to make sense to capture the moment. I wish I could put all my favorite moments into photographs.
Photo by Tara Raye / Unsplash

The perception of poor quality of sleep is called Insomnia. It is a common sleep disorder that includes a wide range of sleeping disorders, from lack of sleep quality to lack of sleep quantity. People who have insomnia may get too little sleep and they may not feel refreshed when they wake up.

Insomnia affects all age groups. Among adults, insomnia affects women more often than men and it increases with age.

Insomnia may be primary or secondary. Primary insomnia may be due to long-lasting stress and emotional upset. It is not due to medical problems, medicines, or other substances.
Certain medical conditions, medicines, sleep disorders, and substances can cause secondary insomnia. Chronic insomnia are secondary, and they are the symptoms or side effects of some other problem.

Insomnia is commonly categorized into three types:
Transient insomnia -  symptoms last from a few days to a few weeks.
Acute insomnia - also called short-term insomnia. Symptoms persist for several weeks.
Chronic insomnia - this type lasts for months, and sometimes years.


Insomnia is commonly caused by:

  • Jet lag, job shift changes, high altitudes, environmental noise, heat, or cold, Psychological issues such as depression, anxiety disorders, or psychotic disorders
  • Medical conditions such as brain lesions and tumors, stroke, chronic pain, chronic fatigue syndrome, congestive heart failure, angina, acid-reflux disease (GERD), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, sleep apnea, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases, hyperthyroidism, arthritis, Hormones - estrogen, hormone shifts during menstruation
  • Other factors like sleeping next to a snoring partner, parasites, genetic conditions, overactive mind, pregnancy

Insomnia may be caused by certain neurotransmitters in the brain that are known to be involved with sleep and wakefulness.

I’ve been experiencing insomnia since launching my own business and I felt the need to capture the experience on camera.
Photo by Megan te Boekhorst / Unsplash


The treatment for insomnia depends on its underlying cause. In insomnia treatment, both medical and non-pharmacological (behavioral) treatments may be used as therapies.

Medical treatments for insomnia include:
Prescription sleeping pills, Antidepressants, Antihistamines, Melatonin, Ramelteon, (Promotes sleep by activating Melatonin which is involved in maintaining normal sleep-wake cycle).

Non-pharmacological treatments include:

Abdominal breathing: Breathing deeply and fully, involving not only the chest, but also the belly, lower back, and ribcage, can help relaxation.  Eyes should be closed and deep, slow breaths are taken, making each breath even deeper than the last.

Progressive muscle relaxation: Making oneself comfortable, the muscles are tensed as tightly as one can and it should start with the feet. After holding like this for a count of 10, muscles should be relaxed. This can be done continuously for every muscle group in the body.

Mindfulness meditation. Quietly sitting and focusing on natural breathing, allowing thoughts and emotions to come and go without judgment and always returning to focus on breath.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): It helps a person to learn new approaches to sleep better. It includes techniques for stress reduction, relaxation and sleep schedule management.

Poor sleep leads to stress and anxious thoughts about not being able to sleep. This in turn leads to stress and tension, which leads to poor sleeping habits, such as the use of sleeping pills and this will cause insomnia. CBT is aimed at breaking the cycle of insomnia.

Sleep restriction therapy : In this therapy, initially sleep time is shortened. By limiting the time spending in bed to the number of hours actually sleep, a person spends less time awake and more time asleep. As the sleep efficiency increases, a person gradually starts going to bed earlier and getting up later until the optimum sleep schedule is reached.


A. Sandhya

M.Sc Zoology

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