Getting to know more about insomnia

Insomnia is one of the sleep disorders characterized by difficulty in initiating sleep, maintaining sleep, or waking up too early. Insomnia is a disorder that causes the sufferer to have difficulty sleeping or not getting enough sleep, even though there is enough time to do so. This disorder can affect the sufferer's activities the next day. Sleep time and sleep satisfaction can affect a person's overall quality of life and health. Generally, adults need 8 hours of sleep per day to keep their bodies fit.


Insomnia is divided into two types based on its causes: primary insomnia and secondary insomnia. Primary insomnia is a sleep disorder not caused by a medical condition, while secondary insomnia is a sleep disorder caused by medical or psychological conditions such as joint inflammation, asthma, depression, and other diseases. Based on the duration, insomnia is divided into acute and chronic insomnia. Acute insomnia can occur in a short period of time, less than 3 months, while chronic insomnia occurs for more than 3 months.


Insomnia can occur in anyone, including children, adults, and the elderly. About a third of the adult population reports sleep disturbances and 6-10% of all reports show symptoms consistent with the criteria for diagnosing insomnia. Factors that can cause insomnia include environmental factors, caffeine consumption habits, physical disorders/diseases, psychological disorders (depression, anxiety), medications, and others.


Insomnia needs to be well managed because if it lasts for a long time, it can cause social, work, and physical disturbances. Patients with insomnia need further assistance from healthcare professionals. Insomnia therapy can be non-pharmacological (not with medications) namely CBT-I (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia) and pharmacological (medications). Non-pharmacological therapy is still the first line in therapy for patients with insomnia. The hope is that patients can experience sleep improvement with minimal side effects. CBT-I usually consists of sleep hygiene education, cognitive therapy, relaxation therapy, sleep restriction therapy, and others.


Pharmacological therapy for insomnia needs to be carefully considered by assessing its risks and benefits. Administration of medications in chronic insomnia patients undergoing CBT-I has shown benefits during the early stages of therapy. When pharmacological therapy is needed, the choice of medication will be determined by several factors such as therapy goals, previous therapy responses, patient preferences, comorbid conditions, contraindications, and possible side effects.


Insomnia therapy needs to be started promptly to avoid factors that cause the development of insomnia into chronic. Treatment with medications also needs to be considered by doctors in certain cases of insomnia.