Life­style, med­i­ca­tion and ex­er­cise can pro­vide a cure

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - China -

may be caused by un­di­ag­nosed phys­i­cal ill­nesses, so peo­ple with those prob­lems should seek med­i­cal ad­vice, ac­cord­ing to Sun, from Pek­ing Univer­sity Sixth Hospi­tal.

“I re­ceived a pa­tient who had ex­pe­ri­enced in­som­nia for many years for rea­sons that had been un­clear. A scan showed an ab­nor­mal area of more than 5 cen­time­ters in di­am­e­ter in her brain, which was the ma­jor cause of her prob­lem,” he said.

The woman was later re­ferred to the neu­ro­log­i­cal depart­ment for treat­ment.

Sleep dis­or­ders can oc­cur at al­most any age, but in gen­eral, women are more likely to ex­pe­ri­ence in­som­nia, and most of the pa­tients Sun sees are age 45 and older.

Guo Xi­heng, di­rec­tor of the Re­s­pi­ra­tory and Sleep Medicine Cen­ter at Bei­jing Chaoyang Hospi­tal, said ris­ing aware­ness of sleep dis­or­ders in re­cent years has seen a grow­ing num­ber of peo­ple seek­ing help at clin­ics, and the av­er­age age of pa­tients is fall­ing.

“In the past, most in­som­nia pa­tients were mid­dle aged or el­derly, but now more young peo­ple are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing th­ese prob­lems,” he said.

Com­pared with se­niors, whose sleep pat­terns de­te­ri­o­rate as a re­sult of ad­vanc­ing years, sleep dis­or­ders in young peo­ple are more likely to be the re­sult of bad life­style choices, such as stay­ing up too late and ir­reg­u­lar

In­som­nia can pro­duce many side ef­fects, such as ir­ri­tabil­ity, low spir­its, slower re­sponse times and am­ne­sia. It can also raise the risk of con­tract­ing a range of con­di­tions, in­clud­ing a lower level of im­mu­nity, di­a­betes, heart disease and obe­sity.

In turn, phys­i­cal con­di­tions, in­clud­ing thy­roid mal­func­tion, aches and pains, and sleep ap­nea can cause in­som­nia. Men­tal is­sues such as de­pres­sion, schizophre­nia and be­com­ing ex­ces­sively tense can also cause chronic sleep­less­ness.

To cure the prob­lem, it is im­por­tant to con­sult a med­i­cal prac­ti­tioner and dis­cover the cause. For ex­am­ple, if in­som­nia is caused by de­pres­sion, the prob­lem can be al­le­vi­ated with an­tide­pres­sant med­i­ca­tion and other treat­ments.

In ad­di­tion to treat­ing the un­der­ly­ing ill­nesses that cause in­som­nia, con­trol of the emo­tions, such as main­tain­ing a sleep­ing sched­ules, he said.

The re­port re­leased by the Chi­nese Sleep Re­search Society last month showed that 31 per­cent of re­spon­dents said they needed more than 30 min­utes to fall asleep.

Nearly 60 per­cent of those born af­ter 1995 used smart­phones for as long as 80 min­utes be­fore go­ing to bed for ac­tiv­i­ties such as chat­ting pos­i­tive men­tal at­ti­tude and learn­ing to re­lease neg­a­tive emo­tions, is also im­por­tant.

Sleep­ing pills are one of the pri­mary treat­ments for in­som­nia, along with other seda­tive drugs, but they must only be taken un­der the guid­ance of a doc­tor.

Pa­tients must ad­here to a se­ries of rules when tak­ing sleep­ing pills: Only take them when nec­es­sary, and re­duce their use or stop tak­ing them when the sleep­ing pat­tern im­proves. To pre­vent ad­dic­tion, pa­tients must not use the same type of sleep­ing pills over a long pe­riod.

In ad­di­tion to med­i­ca­tion, be­hav­ioral treat­ment is widely used to treat in­som­nia. For ex­am­ple, it is im­por­tant for pa­tients to re­build the men­tal re­la­tion­ship be­tween bed and rest by never us­ing the bed for any­thing other than sleep­ing.

In ad­di­tion, be­hav­ioral treat­ment and watch­ing movies on­line, the re­port said.

Sun said peo­ple with sleep dis­or­ders may be of­fered a range of treat­ments, in­clud­ing psy­chother­apy, med­i­ca­tion and even surgery if it is deemed nec­es­sary.

“Many ill­nesses can cause sleep­ing dis­or­ders, and they should be noted dur­ing di­ag­no­sis so they can be treated,” stresses the need to get up at the same time ev­ery day, in­clud­ing va­ca­tions and days off, and to avoid go­ing to bed dur­ing the day.

Re­lax­ation tech­niques, such as adopt­ing a com­fort­able po­si­tion, clos­ing the eyes and tak­ing deep breaths, can re­duce phys­i­cal and emo­tional ten­sion be­fore sleep.

A healthy life­style can also help to cure in­som­nia, in­clud­ing ex­er­cis­ing for about 30 min­utes five times a week.

How­ever, heavy phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity should be avoided for two hours be­fore go­ing to bed.

Pa­tients should re­duce con­sump­tion of tea and cof­fee, and avoid both stim­u­lants for eight hours be­fore sleep.

They should not rely on al­co­hol to help them fall asleep or en­gage in stim­u­lat­ing ac­tiv­i­ties, such as watch­ing ac­tion movies or lis­ten­ing to loud mu­sic, be­fore bed­time. he said.

A prime treat­ment for in­som­nia is cog­ni­tive-be­hav­ior ther­apy, which in­cludes fixed times for get­ting up and go­ing to bed, avoid­ing af­ter­noon naps and un­der­tak­ing re­lax­ation train­ing.

A rel­a­tively new treat­ment in­volves tran­scra­nial mag­netic stim­u­la­tion, where spe­cial equip­ment is used to pro­duce

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