Insomnia, sleep deprivation affects Terrace student

By Nazia Khan

 

According to Insomnia Statistics, approximately 55 percent of people suffer from insomnia, which is a condition in which people have trouble falling asleep every night and  cannot stay asleep for long periods of time. They also tend to wake up frequently during the night, and even after a full night of sleep, are still not fully rested.

According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institution, every eight out of 10 people have the most common type of insomnia, Primary Insomnia. There is no known physical or mental cause for Primary Insomnia, but some factors may include stress, caffeine and anxiety. Negative emotions and feeling stressed for a long period of time can also play a key role in insomnia.

In an effort to treat Primary insomnia, people should refrain from taking naps during the day, and should attempt to go to bed  and wake up at the same time every night and morning. Exercise can also help tire the body.

Terrace sophomore Jacob Pratt suffers from Massive Insomnia, which has the same symptoms as Primary Insomnia, but  the effects are worse and  it affects every part of his life.

“In every aspect, it’s kind of hard to generalize. Basically short term memory loss and energy levels would probably be the greatest effect,” Pratt said.

Every night it takes Pratt anywhere from two to three hours to fall asleep, and he wakes up about 67 times an hour.

“Without insomnia, my life would be different because I’d have higher energy levels, be able to stay awake during all my classes and I’d be able to concentrate on work better,” Pratt said.

He also said that not sleeping makes him very short-tempered and more stressed than he would normally be.

“Insomnia is caused by quite a few things, and one is my acid reflex that makes me congested during the night,” says Pratt.

Although there are many treatments for severe cases of insomnia, one type of treatment that is commonly used is medicine.

“I’m on a ton of medications right now. There’s decongestant medicine, four different steroids, and two antibiotics: Omeprazole and Ranitidine,” Pratt explained.

Some side effects of the many medications Pratt is on is that his stomach acid is repressed, which makes him more susceptible to colds. The steroids make him feel hyper, and as if his skin is crawling. He also feels jittery and gets dizzy often.

People suffering from insomnia tend to take longer than average naps during the day and typically have less energy than most people. They tend to be very annoyed, jumpy, tense, or depressed. The ability to focus, pay attention, learn and remember things is also impacted.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, the hormones in females can cause many sleeping pattern problems.

When a woman is on her period, the levels of the hormone Progesterone are dropped and can cause temporary insomnia. The first and last trimester of a women’s pregnancy can be disturbed by the changing effects of the progesterone hormone.

Chronic Insomnia, the most severe type of insomnia, effects about 10 percent of the population. Causes are known to be psychological and/or emotional, and  it can also run in families.

The underlying causes for this type of insomnia may include depression, bipolar disorder, Attention-Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, or by Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Around 10 to 15 percent of chronic insomnia claims are caused by the abuse of alcohol, cocaine, sedatives and other drugs or substances.

The Sleep Med Incorporated website states that about 20 percent to 40 percent of all adults have insomnia in the course of a year. Also, one out of three people has had insomnia at some point in their life.

People suffering from insomnia or aren’t sure if they are suffering insomnia should contact a medical doctor, as that is the only way it can be treated professionally.