Monday, January 16, 2012

Causes of Insomnia Part 7 Perimenopause or Pre Menopause Symptoms

Perimenopause, or pre menopause is the time in a women’s life when her ovaries start to produce less estrogen. Pre menopause lasts until menopause when the ovaries stop releasing eggs. In the last one or two years of pre menopause the decline of estrogen increases and many women experience menopausal symptoms. When does pre menopause start? It usually starts in a women’s 40, but can start as early as a women’s 30’s. How long does pre menopause last? It varies with each individual. The average is four year, but for some it may last a few months or continue for 10 years. Pre menopause officially ends after the first year a women has gone without having her period. Menopause on average occurs when women are 50-51 years of age, so the duration of pre menopause depends on when a women starts showing signs or menopausal symptoms.

[caption id="attachment_1734" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Sevn Dwarfs of Menopause"][/caption]

What are pre menopause symptoms? Fatigue, hot flashes, tender breasts, decreased libido, vaginal dryness or discomfort, irregular periods, urine leakage or urgency, mood swings and insomnia. Irregular periods are common during pre-menopause, but some abnormalities should be checked out with a doctor to rule out other causes. If your periods are very heavy with blood clots, last longer than normal, spotting between periods or after intercourse and/or occur closer together this could mean you are pregnant, have fibroids or blood clotting problems. Can you still get pregnant during pre-menopause? Yes you can even if your fertility declines during this stage, so continue to use your birth control until you haven’t had a period for 12 months. Your doctor can determine if you are pre-menopausal based on your symptoms. A blood test can determine your hormone levels. If you are on birth control pills they may help relieve hot flashes, if you are not there are other options to control hot flashes such as; birth control skin patch, vaginal ring and progesterone injections.

There are some lifestyle changes you can do to help you through this transition like; exercise, get more sleep, adhere to a night time routine See: tips and techniques to fall asleep easy for more information, stop smoking and reduce alcohol consumption, stay at a healthy weight, drink plenty of water and take a multivitamin with calcium. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms and what you expect from any treatment they suggest to develop a plan that works for you. If you are not getting enough sleep because your hormones are out of control or you are having night sweats hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) might be an option for you. Night sweats plague 85% of pre menopause and menopausal woman by causing a rush of adrenaline that alerts your mind and wakes you up. You won’t be able to go back to sleep until the adrenaline subsides and your body temperature falls. I find it best to have the bedroom temperature between 65-69 degrees to keep my body temperature cooler which eliminates nights sweats altogether or if I do have an episode I can cool down my body temperature much faster.

Besides uncontrollable hormones and night sweats you may be suffering from other sleep problems as well like; sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome or both. Menopause can increase sleep apnea almost eightfold and should be ruled out as a reason you aren’t getting your rest before it causes other health issues. See Causes of Insomnia Part 6 Obstructive Sleep Apnea OSA.

Remember most pre menopause symptoms can be managed with healthy lifestyle changes and that 70% of women will have some symptoms. Consumer Affairs. com does not recommend HRT for women that have an elevated risk for heart disease, stroke or cancer which is 35-50% of all women 50 or older. New reports have linked the decline of estrogen and its symptoms to a magnesium deficiency. Estrogen enhances the use of magnesium in soft tissue and bone which may explain why younger women are resistant to developing heart disease and osteoporosis as well explain the increase of these diseases when estrogen production reduces. Magnesium works best with calcium, so as estrogen decreases causing a magnesium deficiency calcium is absorbed less by greater urinary loss which equates to symptoms of nervousness, irritability, headaches and insomnia.

How does a magnesium deficiency cause insomnia? It causes restless, agitated sleep with frequent nighttime awakenings. Which magnesium supplement is best? Magnesium chloride has been effective in combating insomnia. Magnesium chloride crystals are made from seawater and have important functions in keeping us healthy. In addition to its relaxing properties it has shown to improve digestion, calm the nervous system, provide a stronger immune system, lower blood sugar levels and improve our hair and nails.

Consumer Reports advice for those 50 and over that use hormonal replacement therapy can increase their chances of developing heart disease, breast cancer, blood clots and stroke and an increasing number of women are turning to natural solutions to relieve the causes of insomnia when experiencing pre menopause symptoms. Highly absorbable forms of natural minerals like magnesium chloride and calcium lactate gluconate can be a soothing alternative to a good night’s sleep.

The content provided in Causes of Insomnia Part 7 Perimenopause or Pre Menopause Symptoms is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for you or your families sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Causes of Insomnia Part 6 Obstructive Sleep Apnea OSA

Keeping up with today’s schedules, workloads and family life there seems to be little time to relax and take care of the most important person in your life…YOU. We tend to stay up too late at night to get all of our to-dos done before the next day. We lay in bed tossing and turning each night wondering if we haven’t forgotten anything we have to do. As time ticks by we get less and less sleep and many of us resort to some kind of sleep aid in an effort to avoid insomnia. Causes of insomnia can vary from the mild to the extreme, but there is one cause that gets overlooked and that is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Why, because we tend to ignore the symptoms of OSA such as snoring and excessive daytime sleepiness because we don’t realize the connection between the two and/or the impact OSA has on one’s health. Also, OSA has joined type 2 diabetes as a condition largely associated with the national epidemic of obesity.

It is important to distinguish the difference between snoring and OSA. Many people snore. Approximately 30% to 50% of the US population snore at one time or another, but unlike simple snoring OSA is a potentially life-threatening condition that requires medical attention. The risks of undiagnosed OSA include heart disease, stroke, fast irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, heart attack and decreased libido. OSA causes afternoon sleepiness that can result in a car or work related accidents, loss in job performance due to lack of concentration and relationship problems. These symptoms like the symptoms of insomnia can range from mild to severe.

When a person snores because of sleep apnea their pharynx or windpipe collapses during sleep and they stop breathing for at least 10 seconds. This may happen frequently, even hundreds of times during the night. The person may be totally unaware that their breathing has stopped and usually it is their bed partner that notices and becomes alarmed. OSA is very common and it is estimated that one out of every five adults have at least a mild case of OSA and one in 15 have a moderate case. The greatest reason for OSA is being overweight and as many as 40% of obese people have sleep apnea. Obese children have four to five times the risk of developing OSA verses non-obese children.

How does their air flow get blocked? The pharynx is located behind the tongue and soft palate. Muscles are relied upon to keep the airway open because the upper portion from the lungs has little support from bones or cartilage. With OSA the throat relaxes allowing the windpipe to collapse. In adults this occurs from loss of muscle tone from aging or fat buildup in the throat.

In children the cause is often enlarged tonsils and adenoids. When breathing is cut off the blood vessels constrict and blood oxygen levels begin to fall. Low oxygen levels signal the brain to wake the person up enough to cause the throat muscles to tighten, which stiffens and opens up the airway passage for air to come in. Snoring occurs when the person inhales and is a sign that air is getting into their lungs. Other signs of OSA may be gasping for breath or snorting.

People of any age may develop OSA, but those more likely to be at risk are those that are obese, middle aged (40-60), smokers, those with enlarged tonsils and/or adenoids, men (especially men with a neck circumference of 17” or more), women with a neck circumference of 16” or more and those that use alcohol, sedatives and tranquilizers before bedtime.

Not only is obesity a cause of OSA, OSA can worsen obesity. Sleep apnea causes insomnia which causes an imbalance the two hormones that are associated with hunger and satiety; leptin and ghrelin. Leptin levels decrease when we do not get enough sleep so we feel we haven’t eaten enough and Ghrelin levels increase which simulates our appetite.

For those that have OSA and are not overweight usually have a chronic nasal condition, a larger than normal uvula, enlarged tonsils or a small receding jaw. Not treating this condition can be deadly as those afflicted are three times more like of dying from OSA risks compared to those that don’t have the disorder. One of the more likely risks is heart disease caused by high blood pressure. 50 to 60% of people with OSA have hypertension which is the result of over stimulating the sympathetic nervous system due to a constant responds to the threat of low oxygen levels. Normal blood oxygen saturation values are 97-99% while those with OSA may have levels around 60% or lower. The sympathetic nervous system reacts to these low levels by increasing the heart rate. Their blood pressure can rise as high as 250/110 mm Hg during a sleep apnea episode. Worse still this stimulation can continue during awake hours continually constricting blood vessels which can lead to hardening of the arteries or atherosclerosis. These problems cause heart attack and stroke, pulmonary vascular disease, congestive heart failure and heart arrhythmias.

Other problems can stem from OSA, such as fatigue, headaches, afternoon sleepiness, lack of focus, decreased desire to interact socially, men may suffer from erectile dysfunction, little regard to take care of one’s self and depression. OSA can raise insulin and blood sugar levels that impair the body’s ability to process glucose. Those with moderate to severe cases of sleep apnea may be twice as likely to develop diabetes.

If the OSA is mild to moderate some lifestyle changes can effectively cure this condition. Number one is weight loss! Even 10% of a person’s body fat can help relieve sleep apnea, while a larger weight loss can cure the condition completely. Purchase a pillow wedge to prevent them from sleeping on their back which will limit the tongue and soft palate to rest on the back of their throat blocking the airway. NO alcohol or sleep aides, they relax the muscles in the back of the throat. Quit smoking.

Moderate to severe cases may need a CPAP machine to keep the airway open by a continuous flow of air that pushes the throat open while they sleep. The amount of air flow delivered by the CPAP machine is individualized. To determine the best adjustment, it's necessary to sleep overnight in the sleep lab wearing the CPAP mask while the sleep technician monitors your sleep.

Oral appliances, or dental devices, are generally less effective than CPAP, but some people find them easier to use. They are usually plastic devices that are designed to prevent soft tissues from collapsing and pressing on the airway. There are many different kinds, and it's necessary to go to a dentist to have one custom-fitted for individual needs. If you or someone you know may have OSA seek professional help. The severity of OSA is usually diagnosed by a polysomnography which will monitor their breathing, heart rate, brain activity, blood pressure and other functions while they sleep overnight.

Scientists are still exploring why we need to sleep and why the lack of it causes so much damage. Animals when deprived of sleep lose immune function and die in a matter of weeks. Losing one night of sleep can cause us to lose concentration, impair our memory and reduce our physical performance the very next day. Continued lack of sleep or insomnia can lead to irritability, hallucinations and depression. If the cause of their insomnia is due to chronic snoring and/or gasping for breath continually during the night, it’s time to find out if obstructive sleep apnea is the reason.

The content provided in Causes of Insomnia Part 6 Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for you or your families sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.

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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Causes of Insomnia Part 5 De-Stress to Rest

Book Review: The De-stress Diet by UK TV Diet Expert Charlotte Watts

Some of the causes of insomnia for a majority of the population is primarily stress and/or a sleep disruptors like uncontrollable noise, adjusting to a new babies sleep schedule, jet lag, night shift work that affect a person’s sleep sleep/wake cycle. If a person suffers from insomnia more than a month the symptoms become more serious see Causes of Insomnia Part 4 Symptoms of Major Depression for more information. However, short term insomnia's (under a month) number one cause is stress and not being able to sleep only makes your stress worse. Secondly, you need to look at your diet as many foods like those that contain caffeine such as tea, coffee, sodas and chocolate can contribute to the feeling of stress and sleepless nights. Changes in your diet can help you to overcome anxiety that will help you sleep better and is the first step to successful weight loss.

[caption id="attachment_1726" align="alignright" width="192" caption="The De-Stress Diet Book"][/caption]

So how many of you have decided your New Year’s resolution is to lose some weight? Over the holidays you may have had a lot of fun, but I am sure your stress levels were sky high trying to deal with crowded stores and family schedules. TV diet expert Charlotte Watts has now written a book that will provide tips that can help you to become calmer and slimmer. Not only does stress and lack of sleep cause you to look for an instant energy fix, but it also makes that excess weight harder to lose. Excess stress hormones produced in our body store fat especially around our middle. Dieting while stressed is doomed to fail, but eating healthy and making a few lifestyle changes you can de-stress and lose the weight, according to the new book The De-stress Diet that was just released January 2, 2012.

Throughout the book you are asked to take quizzes to determine your stress type. If you answer yes to three or more questions in any section, this could be your stress type then follow the “What to do” advice for a slimmer, calmer and healthier you.


• Do you often feel bloated after eating?

• Do you have irritable bowel syndrome-type symptoms that get worse when you are stressed?

• Do you have food sensitivities?

• Have you been on long-term steroid medications, anti-inflammatories and/ or antibiotics?

• Are you prone to headaches?

• Is your diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates?

If this is your stress type, many of your problems are caused by insufficient beneficial bacteria in your gut, triggering sugar cravings and digestive problems such as IBS and weight gain.

WHAT TO DO: Increase your intake of natural prebiotics, which help promote good bacteria. They are found in veg (particularly Jerusalem artichokes, chicory, bananas, garlic, onions and leeks) or use supplements. Take digestive enzyme capsules at the start of each meal (around £9 for 100 from health stores) to help your body break down food.

Chew everything properly and wait an hour after eating protein before having fruit as it can cause gut fermentation and gas.

Cut down on sugars, alcohol and caffeine, which can reduce levels of beneficial bacteria and lead to gas, poor immunity and yeast overgrowth (candida).

Eat slowly and chew thoroughly to give your digestion the best chance to work effectively. Get tested for food intolerances (dairy, eggs, fish and grains) as low levels of beneficial bacteria in the gut can make it over-sensitive.


• Do you feel on constant alert?

• Do you react quickly to stressful events?

• Do you struggle to relax?

• Do you feel under pressure to take charge of things?

• Do you feel increasingly unable to cope?

• Are you prone to mood swings or have a tendency towards irritability?

This is one of the most common stress types, and is particularly harmful in the long term because it wears out our physical and mental systems. The adrenal glands (which control many stress hormones) are on overload, triggering raised appetite and food cravings.

WHAT TO DO: Make sure you are getting all your nutrients by eating protein with every meal (eggs, meat or fish), healthy fats and plenty of vegetables.

Consider taking supplements containing zinc, iron, B vitamins, vitamin C, iodine and magnesium, commonly lost from the body during the stress response.

Don’t ignore tiredness: unwind in the evenings and try a few minutes of slow breathing each morning or before bed. Slow down your exercise regime. Avoid anything competitive so there is no stressful need to achieve.


• Do you often complain of feeling cold when others are warm?

• Do you have poor circulation and are prone to fluid retention?

• Is your hair thinning and are you losing the edges of your eyebrows?

• Do you often find it difficult to concentrate?

• Do you have less and less energy?

• Do you have a hoarse voice?

• Do you wake up unrefreshed?

These symptoms are often signs that stress is causing your thyroid gland (which controls metabolism) to under-perform. It’s your body’s way of slowing you down to conserve energy. This makes weight loss harder than ever.

WHAT TO DO: Balance your blood sugar levels to keep energy constant by eating less sugar and refined carbohydrates, and eating protein and good fats with each meal. Cut back on alcohol and coffee. Don’t skimp on exercise — it stimulates sluggish thyroid glands.

Try yoga. Head-down poses encourage blood flow and the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the thyroid gland.

Protein and leafy greens contain an amino acid called tyrosine, which helps the thyroid produce thyroxin which re-invigorates the metabolism.

Avoid raw cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and kale as they can interfere with thyroid function.

Eat warming foods such as chili, ginger, green tea, turmeric, cider vinegar, horseradish and wasabi to warm you up.

Consider taking the thyroid- stimulating nutrients iron, zinc, copper, selenium and iodine (found in mackerel, cod, shellfish and seaweeds).


• Are you prone to hay fever, asthma, eczema, arthritis or psoriasis?

• Do you get frequent ear, nose and throat infections?

• Do you have a tendency to fluid retention and weight fluctuations?

• Are you prone to headaches?

• Have you been on long-term steroid medications, anti-inflammatories and/or antibiotics?

• Is your diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates?

• Do you have osteoporosis, heart disease or joint problems?

These symptoms could be signs that your immune system is on overdrive. This saps energy, and suppresses the appetite- satisfaction hormones ghrelin and leptin, making weight loss particularly difficult.

WHAT TO DO: Reduce your intake of sugar to cut down the harmful inflammatory reactions it may be causing in your body.

Boost your intake of foods rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, beta- carotene (found in fresh, brightly colored fruit and vegetables), as well as the beneficial bioflavonoids and polyphenols found in spices, tea, green tea and garlic (as well as red wine and dark chocolate).

Increase your fruit and vegetable intake to ensure you don’t get dehydrated (because they contain potassium and sugars, they help the water they contain enter cells more easily than just drink-ing water).

Low levels of omega 3 in the diet can lead to inflammation, making eczema, asthma, dermatitis, hay fever, migraines and arthritis worse — stress exacerbates the effect. An omega 3 supplement may help.

Weight training is a must to strengthen bones and maintain healthy joint lubrication. Avoid hard cardiovascular workouts and choose gentle jogging or walking instead.


• Do you get PMS or have a history of menstrual problems?

• Do you have fibroids, endometriosis or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)?

• Do you get pre-menstrual or ovulation sugar cravings?

• Do you get hormonal phases of irritability, crying and/or negative thoughts?

• Do you have menopausal symptoms?

• Do you have fertility issues?

• Have you used hormonal contraception (the Pill, IUD or implant) for years?

Affecting women only, this body type thrives on stress hormones interacting with oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone, skewing the delicate balance your hormonal system needs to function well and leading to weight gain typically on the bottom, hips and thighs.

WHAT TO DO: Reduce your alcohol consumption as it can raise circulating oestrogen and may worsen PMS.

Organic meat, eggs and dairy products tend to be lower in growth hormones, which may disrupt your hormone balance.

Eat a little fermented soy in the form of soy sauce, tamari, miso and tempeh — the Chinese and Japanese have found this can help regulate the balance of female hormones.

Eat plenty of fiber to ensure effective elimination of excess hormones via the bowel (constipation may cause hormones and toxins to be re-absorbed into the body).

Exercise every day — it is a crucial physical process that increases hormone balance by boosting circulation and detoxification.


• Do you wake up feeling weary?

• Do you have energy dips?

• Do you rely on sugar or caffeine to perk you up?

• Do you feel fuzzy-headed?

• Are you exhausted by evening?

• Do you sleep badly?

• Do you get fluid retention?

If you’ve been a ‘wired’ stress type for a while, you can easily become a tired type, which can result in crashes that leave you unable to function without unhealthy sugar or stimulants.

WHAT TO DO: Swap external energy fixes such as sugar, coffee, alcohol and cigarettes for a multivitamin and mineral supplement to boost iron, B and C vitamins and magnesium.

Eat more red meat, fish and eggs, spinach and watercress (all rich in

iron) and poultry, milk, tofu and mushrooms (for vitamin B12).

Get more fluid by increasing fruit and veg intake and exercise to

reduce stress hormones.


• Do you often feel as if you can’t be bothered to do anything?

• Do you have a tendency to depression?

• Do you use sugar and refined carbohydrates for comfort?

• Do you have late-night binges or over-eating sessions?

• Do you sleep badly?

• Are you prone to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?

Don’t blame lack of willpower — stress has depleted the feel-good hormones serotonin and dopamine.

Low levels are linked to depression, and make you susceptible to junk food cravings as your body searches for a quick fix boost.

WHAT TO DO: Take an Omega-3 supplement to increase receptiveness

to serotonin and dopamine. Eat protein with every meal to ensure a consistent supply of energy to the brain to maintain a healthy mood.

Replenish probiotic gut bacteria with bio-yogurt and cut back on sugar. Take a magnesium supplement. Exercise outdoors. Laugh, listen to music, socialize, have sex: natural opioids are produced in response to these natural highs.

One of the most important and compulsory aspects of the De-Stress Diet is rest. According to physiologists who studied our hunter-gatherer ancestors they would have days of high activity followed by low-activity days. This would give the body the reduced likelihood of injury and a chance to recharge. In the modern world, we go on and on with less sleep and rest than we need. Whether if it is the exercise we do or the stress we are exposed to we are genetically suited to a variety of activities performed with different levels of intensity. We need to rest in between these activities to insure that our mind and body recover. This book continues to give you reasons why we are stressed and how it affects us. It offers a 6 weeks to de-stress plan with foods and recipes along with yoga and breathing exercises to help you to relax and get a good night’s sleep.

The book was released in the UK, you can purchase the Kindle copy in the US on here. If you don’t have a Kindle Wireless Reading Device (6" Display, U.S. Wireless), Amazon has some used ones available for as low as $59.99 or just download the Kindle PC version for FREE.

The content provided in Causes of Insomnia Part 5 De-Stress to Rest is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for you or your families sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.

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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Causes of Insomnia Part 4 Major Depression Symptoms

What is depression? Depression is a medical illness that involves both the mind and body. Depression can be called major depressive disorder, clinical depression and major depression as it affects how we act, think and feel. Depression can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems that can affect your daily lives or be severe enough to feel that life just isn’t worth living. From time to time many of us suffer from feelings of melancholy but we usually snap out of it and move on with our lives. Depression is a chronic illness that requires long-term medical treatment involving medication and counseling. What are the major depression symptoms?

[caption id="attachment_1720" align="alignright" width="300" caption="major depression symptoms - insomnia"][/caption]

Major depression symptoms include; feeling of sadness and unhappiness that last all day every day, frustration over the smallest matters, loss of interest or pleasure in our normal activities, reduced sex drive, causes insomnia or excessive sleeping, changes in appetite that involves a weight gain or loss of 5% in a month, agitation or restlessness shown in how they act (pacing, wringing of hands or can’t sit still), reduced physical movements, indecisiveness, loss of energy, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, loss of short-term memory, crying jags, physical problems including back pain and headaches and even reoccurring thoughts of death or suicide.

According to WebMD’s website major depression affects about 6.7% of the U.S. population over 18 years of age. Overall, between 20% and 25% may suffer an episode of major depression at some point during their lifetime. For some people, depression symptoms are so severe that it's obvious something isn't right. Others people feel generally miserable or unhappy without really knowing why. Depression affects each person in different ways, so depression symptoms vary from person to person. Inherited traits, age, gender and cultural background all play a role in how depression may affect them.

In younger children major depression symptoms may include general sadness, irritability, hopelessness and worry, while adolescents and teenagers may also include anger, anxiety and avoidance of social activities. Changes in there sleeping pattern and way of thinking are common signs of depression in older children and adults but not as common in children under the age of 12. Causes of depression in children and teens may include behavior problems and other mental health conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

[caption id="attachment_1721" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Depression and Children"][/caption]

When an adolescent or a teen is depressed, school performance usually deteriorates as their ability to concentrate is being affected. While depressed, they believe they are unable to finish schoolwork, therefore, skip classes and their grades drop. Feeling depleted, listless, and incompetent, they may lose interest in extracurricular activities and drop out.

While teenagers are naturally more likely to sleep late in the morning whenever possible, a depressed teen will nap excessively throughout the day or go to bed early in the evening. Repeatedly disrupting their sleep/wake cycle insomnia may develop. They may also complain of headaches or stomachaches, especially to avoid attending a new social event.

Hopelessness, despair that things will never change, and a general feeling of deadness may be expressed in suicide attempts or dangerous self-harm behavior, like cutting or burning their skin. In addition, depressed teenagers may use drugs or alcohol, in some cases as self-medication to try to relieve their depression symptoms.

Depression is not normal for older adults as most of us feel pretty satisfied with our lives. Unfortunately, when an adult is depressed they usually go untreated as many adults may not seek medical advice when they just feel a little blue. Depression symptoms in adults can cause insomnia, loss of appetite, afternoon sleepiness, low sex drive, they would rather stay in than socialize and/or may be caused by an underlying medical condition. Suicidal thinking is a serious depression symptom especially in men who are at a higher risk of actually committing the act.

When should they see a doctor? As soon as they can because depression symptoms may get worse if untreated which can lead to other mental and physical disorders. If they have thoughts of suicide get help ASAP! Seek help from your doctor, friend, call the suicide hot line 800-273-8255, counselor, minister or someone in your faith community. If they have hurt someone or they have attempted suicide, call 911.

Depression is a serious illness and if untreated can lead to alcohol or substance abuse, anxiety, heart disease, work issues, family conflicts, social isolation or suicide. Once they have had one episode of major depression, they are at high risk of having another. The best way to prevent another episode of depression is to be aware of the causes of major depression; such as major life changes, loss of a loved one, personal conflicts and/or physical or emotional abuse. It is also important to know what the symptoms of major depression are and to talk with your doctor early if you have any of these symptoms.

Remember: Insomnia alone cannot cause depression, but it can play a part if insomnia is caused by another medical condition or by a personal problem which can make their major depression symptoms worse. Insomnia that lasts over a long period of time is also an important clue that someone may be depressed. Usually, once the depression has been successfully treated, symptoms of insomnia will improve.

Treatment choices for depression depend on how serious the illness is. The most effective treatment for depression is a combination of psychotherapy and medication. Medication tends to work more quickly to decrease symptoms while psychotherapy helps people to learn coping strategies to prevent the onset of future depressive symptoms. Psychotherapy can also address coping skills to improve the quality and quantity of the person’s sleep.

The content provided in Causes of Insomnia Part 4 Major Depression Symptoms is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for you or your families sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.

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