Insomnia (sleeplessness)

Insomnia, also known as sleeplessness, is a sleep disorder where people have trouble sleeping. They may have difficulty falling asleep, or staying asleep as long as desired.

  • Insomnia is the inability to sleep or abnormal wakefulness.
  • It is the most common sleep disorder.
  • It occurs due to systemic illness or mental conditions such as psychiatric problems, alcoholic addiction and drug addiction.

Insomnia types:

  1. Short-term or acute insomnia is a temporary problem stemming from changes in your normal routine due to illness, travel, grief, hormone fluctuations, or stress.
  2. Long-term or chronic insomnia occurs when you regularly experience trouble sleeping (three or more nights a week) over an extended period of time (three months or more)

Causes of insomnia; (Psychological and medical)

1) Anxiety, stress, and depression;

  • Anxiety, stress, and depression are some of the most common causes of chronic insomnia.
  • Other common emotional and psychological causes include anger, worry, grief, bipolar disorder, and trauma.
  • Treating these underlying problems is essential to resolving your insomnia.

2) Medical problems or illness.

Many medical conditions and diseases can contribute to insomnia, including

  • asthma,
  • allergies,
  • Parkinson’s disease,
  • hyperthyroidism,
  • acid reflux,
  • kidney disease,
  • and cancer.
  • Chronic pain is also a common cause of insomnia.

3) Medications.

Many prescription drugs can interfere with sleep, including ;

  • antidepressants,
  • stimulants for ADHD,
  • corticosteroids,
  • thyroid hormone,
  • high blood pressure medications,
  • and some contraceptives.
  • Common over-the-counter culprits include cold and flu medications that contain alcohol, pain relievers that contain caffeine (Midol, Excedrin), diuretics, and slimming pills.

Daytime habits that cause insomnia

Having an irregular sleep schedule, napping, drinking caffeinated beverages late in the day, eating sugary foods or heavy meals too close to bedtime, and not getting enough exercise are all examples of daytime habits that can impact your ability to sleep at night.

Treatment:

  1. Non-medication based
  2. Medications

1) Non-medication based:

  • Use the bedroom only for sleeping and sex. Don’t work, watch TV, or use your computer in bed or the bedroom. The goal is to associate the bedroom with sleep alone, so that your brain and body get a strong signal that it’s time to nod off when you get into bed.
  • Turn off all screens at least an hour before bed. Dim the lights, and focus on quiet, soothing activities, such as reading, knitting, or listening to soft music.
  • Abdominal breathing. Breathing deeply and fully, involving not only the chest, but also the belly, lower back, and ribcage, can help relaxation. Close your eyes and take deep, slow breaths, making each breath even deeper than the last. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.
  • Progressive muscle relaxation. Make yourself comfortable. Starting with your feet, tense the muscles as tightly as you can. Hold for a count of 10, and then relax. Continue to do this for every muscle group in your body, working your way up from your feet to the top of your head.

2) Medications:

Antihistamines, 

  • As an alternative to taking prescription drugs, some evidence shows that an average person seeking short-term help may find relief by taking over-the-counter antihistamines such as diphenhydramine or doxylamine.
  • Diphenhydramine and doxylamine are widely used in nonprescription sleep aids.
  • Antihistamine effectiveness for sleep may decrease over time, and anticholinergic side-effects (such as dry mouth) may also be a drawback with these particular drugs.

Antidepressants

  • Because insomnia is a common symptom of depression, antidepressants are effective for treating sleep problems whether or not they are associated with depression. While all antidepressants help regulate sleep, some antidepressants such as amitriptyline, doxepin, mirtazapine, and trazodone can have an immediate sedative effect, and are prescribed to treat insomnia.

Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepine-like medications:

  • Drugs that may prove more effective and safer than benzodiazepines for insomnia is an area of active research.
  • Nonbenzodiazepine sedative-hypnotic drugs, such as zolpidem (Ambien), zaleplon, zopiclone (Imovane), and eszopiclone (Lunesta), are a class hypnotic medications that are similar to benzodiazepines in their mechanism of action, and indicated for mild to moderate insomnia
  • they have similar—though potentially less severe—side effect profiles compared to benzodiazepines.

Obesity (childhood obesity)

Introduction:
Obesity means having too much body fat. It is different from being overweight, which means weighing too much. The weight may come from muscle, bone, fat, and/or body water. Both terms mean that a person’s weight is greater than what’s considered healthy for his or her height.
Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have a negative effect on health.People are generally considered obese when their body mass index (a measurement obtained by dividing a person’s weight by the square of the person’s height)is over 30 kg/m2 with the range 25–30 kg/m2 defined as overweight.

Occurs:

Obesity occurs over time when you eat more calories than you use. The balance between calories-in and calories-out differs for each person.

Factors that might affect your weight include: 

  • your genetic makeup,
  • overeating,
  • eating high-fat foods,
  • and not being physically active.

Being obese increases your risk of:

  • diabetes,
  • heart disease,
  • stroke,
  • arthritis,
  • and some cancers.

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obesityChildhood obesity:

Childhood obesity is a condition where excess body fat negatively affects a child’s health. As methods to determine body fat directly are difficult, the diagnosis of obesity is often based on BMI. Due to the rising prevalence of obesity in children and its many adverse health effects it is being recognized as a serious public health concern.

Effect on child Health:

1) Psychological

  • The first problems to occur in obese children are usually emotional or psychological.
  • Obese children often experience teasing by their peers.
  • Some are harassed or discriminated against by their own family.
  • Stereotypes abound and may lead to low self-esteem and depression.

2) Physical

 Causes:

  • Genetics

Childhood obesity is often the result of an interplay between many genetic and environmental factors. Polymorphisms in various genes controlling appetite and metabolism predispose individuals to obesity when sufficient calories are present. Over 200 genes affect weight by determining activity level, food preferences, body type, and metabolism.Having two copies of the allele called FTO increases the likelihood of both obesity and diabetes.

  • Family practices

    In the recent decades, family practices have significantly changed, and several of these practices greatly contribute to childhood obesity:

    • With a decreasing number of mothers who breast-feed, more infants become obese children as they grow up and are reared on infant formula instead.
    • Less children go outside and engage in active play as technologies, such as the television and video games, keep children indoors.
    • Rather than walking or biking to a bus-stop or directly to school, more school-age children are driven to school by their parents, reducing physical activity.
    • As family sizes decrease, the children’s pester power, their ability to force adults to do what the want, increases. This ability enables them to have easier access to calorie-packed foods, such as candy and soda drinks.
  • Advertising 

Advertising of unhealthy foods correlates with childhood obesity rates.In some nations, advertising of candy, cereal, and fast-food restaurants is illegal or limited on children’s television channels. The media defends itself by blaming the parents for yielding to their children’s demands for unhealthy foods.

Smoking

Smoking is a practice in which a substance is burned and the resulting smoke breathed in to be tasted and absorbed into the bloodstream. Most commonly the substance is the dried leaves of the tobacco plant which have been rolled into a small square of rice paper to create a small, round cylinder called a “cigarette“. Smoking is primarily practiced as a route of administration for recreational drug use because the combustion of the dried plant leaves vaporizes and delivers active substances into the lungs where they are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream and reach bodily tissue.Smoking is bad for your health. Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body. Cigarette smoking causes 87 percent of lung cancer deaths.

PROBLEMS

It is also responsible for many other cancers and health problems. These include lung disease, heart and blood vessel disease, stroke and cataracts.

WOMEN WHO SMOKE

Women who smoke have a greater chance of certain pregnancy problems or having a baby die from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Your smoke is also bad for other people – they breathe in your smoke secondhand and can get many of the same problems as smokers do.

Just 10 Cigarettes During Pregnancy Can Harm Kids

Teens whose mothers smoked may have issues with thinking skills, study shows

Encephalitis

This article is written by James Okun Herpes Simplex Encephalitis is an infection of the brain caused by the HSV (Herpes Simplex Virus) usually Type 1 and is the most common cause of viral encephalitis in developed countries (www. Healthline.com) and of “fatal sporadic fulminant necrotizing viral encephalitis” (Radiopaedia.org). Encephalitis is often confused with Meningitis […]

via Herpes Encephalitis (Infection of the Brain) — Review Tales – A Personal