Spanish Society of Neurology. It can manifest itself either as persistent difficulties to fall asleep, as multiple awakenings throughout the night, or as an early and definitive wake at dawn. Their presence, apart from causing a deterioration in the quality of life (with diurnal symptoms such as tiredness, concentration and attention difficulties with decreased performance capacity, irritability, etc.), can increase the risk of suffering problems cardiovascular, obesity, diabetes and some neurological problems.
It is not convenient to treat insomnia with drugs beyond a few weeks. Its long-term use is not harmless and can lead to loss of efficacy (with dependence) and other neurological problems such as memory impairment.
It is therefore essential that any treatment focuses on the causes of insomnia : behind a problem of insomnia there may be both medical (respiratory, neurological, etc.) and psychiatric problems. At other times the problem lies in the abnormal functioning of the biological clock that controls sleep. But in other cases the patient is simply unable to defuse daily stress and stays awake at night. All these possible causes must be meticulously studied through specific studies in a sleep center. It is essential that only if we make a good diagnosis can we properly select the type of treatment. For this it is necessary the teamwork of neurologists, pulmonologists, psychiatrists, psychologists and physiotherapists.
Depending on the cause of insomnia, it will be treatable. But it can also be curable: It is very often necessary to re-teach the patient to sleep, manage stress better and learn to disconnect. This training program is considered internationally as the treatment of choice for primary insomnia and allows you to go back to sleep without needing to take any medication in 6 to 10 weeks.
In any case, we must pay attention to sleep problems, especially if they are persistent, since they can condition our future health.