Dyssomnia Understanding Dyssomnias – Amount, Quality and Timing of Sleep A dyssomnia is a disturbance of the natural resting and waking patterns of the body, which can lead to daytime drowsiness, poor concentration and the inability to feel rested and refreshed in the morning. Most commonly related to a problem with the circadian rhythm, or internal biological clock, dyssomnias affect the amount, quality or timing of sleep, with symptoms including: Insomnia Sleeplessness Wakefulness Chronic and persistent difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep Chronic and persistently waking up too early Common Causes of Dyssomnia A dyssomnia may result from an extrinsic sleep disorder with an external cause or an intrinsic sleep disorder with a cause in the body. Medical disorders, psychiatric disorders and stress may precipitate or intensity dyssomnias and some of the most common causes of dyssomnias include: Excessive sleep during the day Depression or major depression Worry, anxiety or stress Jet lag Excessive physical or intellectual stimulation at bedtime Nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, food, or stimulants at bedtime Abruptly stopping a medication Shift work Not getting enough bright-light exposure during waking hours Restless leg syndrome Wake-sleep pattern disturbances Dyssomnia Treatment Treatment for a dyssomnia encourages the practice of good sleep hygiene, where patients should avoid alcohol in the evening as well as caffeine before bedtime. For patients with an underlying psychological or psychiatric disorder at the root of their dyssomnia, medical experts recommend therapy as a form of treatment, administered by a psychologist or psychiatrist. Counseling and relaxation methods may also prove helpful for psychological disorders leading to dyssmonias, and drug treatment should remain as a last alternative. Disclaimer: These statements and products are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult your physician regarding any sleeping disorders.