Insomnia is a sleep disorder in which a person has trouble falling asleep and, in many cases, cannot stay asleep. It is also characterized by the inability to achieve a deep, restful sleep for long periods of time. While many people can fall asleep and maintain a REM state for several hours, they cannot achieve the deep, non-REM sleep needed that allows the body to begin to heal itself. Without this deep sleep, the body can begin to deteriorate physically, resulting in a higher risk of injuries and muscle weakness. Individuals who live fast-paced, stressful lives often complain about having insomnia or not being able to get enough sleep.
Insomnia is treated in a variety of ways. CBT-I or Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Insomnia is one way to help control a person's sleeping patterns. Removing or breaking unhealthy patterns that disrupt sleep is an integral part of the therapy program. The key is to create the ideal environment to achieve a good night's sleep. This means creating positive lifestyle habits and patterns that will encourage the body to fall asleep and remain asleep so that the body can achieve the deepest level of non-REM sleep possible. Changing a person's behavior prior to sleep is also part of the treatment plan. This can include eliminating caffeine, heavy foods, or tobacco products just before bedtime.
Sleep deprivation occurs when the body does not get sufficient amounts of sleep to function optimally throughout the day. Without adequate amounts of sleep, the body begins to deteriorate over time. Achieving a deep, restful sleep for a few hours each night is needed so that the body can rejuvenate and heal itself on a cellular level. When a person becomes sleep deprived, it is harder for them to focus on tasks, remain alert, and react effectively to various types of stimuli. The body is not given a sufficient chance to heal from the day's activities. If this is allowed to continue, the person's health will begin to deteriorate and they will become more susceptible to illness and injury.