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If a person has a problem getting a decent night's sleep or feels that he has a sleeping problem, it could be said that this person is suffering from insomnia.
There are three types of insomnia.
Transient is defined as sleeplessness that lasts one day to a few weeks.
Intermittent is when one suffers occasional or on and off insomnia, and chronic is a constant, ongoing problem.
Transient and intermittent insomnia are caused by stress, external noise, extreme temperatures, change of sleeping places, altered sleep timings and side effects of medicines.
Chronic is not so easily pinned down to a single cause.
It is mostly caused by a combination of diseases, psychological problems, life style patterns like smoking, alcohol, and caffeine, drugs and work schedules.
People over sixty, pregnant women and women during menopause are more prone to suffer from this ailment.
A person suffering from insomnia feels tired with lowered energy level, flares up for nothing and can hardly concentrate on anything seriously.
Discussion with the patient and his family about sleep patterns can identify insomnia, but finding the root cause is a very complex exercise involving all causation factors.
Transient and intermittent insomnia does not require serious treatment other than removing the cause and a short acting sleeping pill.
Chronic insomnia is often a very complicated problem.
Underlying physical and mental disorders need to be treated and necessary life style modification effected.
Mild aerobics exercise would be of great help.
But above all, calming the mind and relaxing the body through various relaxation techniques is of enormous help.
A patient should use sleeping pills only under a physician's supervision for a short period of time to avoid dependency.

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