Sleep: A Key to A Balanced Life

A common condition I encounter in medical practice is insomnia. Many patients struggle with sleep and many are prescribed hypnotics or sleeping medications. According to the website, 10% of adults have a chronic form of insomnia. This means they have problems sleeping 3 times per week for at least 3 months.

Primary insomnia is due to a state of hyperarousal, and when an electro encephalogram (brain wave test) is done, reveals more beta waves than others (alpha, delta and theta). These beta waves are present when we are awake (as opposed to alpha – a state between wakefulness and sleep; such as daydreaming or meditation). People who have primary insomnia also secrete more cortisol, a hormone involved in the stress response

Often, patients complain of insomnia and ask for sleeping medications. These promote sleep by affecting certain neurotransmitters such as GABA. Although they do help…

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