W1 Activity: Insomnia

My ideas of health and illness are inversely related.  Someone is healthy if they are able to normally function every day without any setbacks or abnormalities to their physical wellbeing.  I consider myself to be healthy because I have proper nutrition, am physically active, and my body does not functionally suffer.  On the contrary, an illness can be considered any factors which prevent a persons body from being “healthy”.  There are some exceptions to this such as an injury or minor setbacks like hunger or tiredness.  My definitions of health and illness can be attributed to past experience in my life and influenced by the medical viewpoints of my peers, family, and friends.  In todays society healthiness is placed on a high pedestal and appearance is greatly valued.  The media portrays health to have nice smooth skin, strong muscles, clean teeth, and good physical ability.  However, my view of health is simply being able to function properly.  All the other qualities just makes one more healthier than they are.

Insomnia can be hard to identify as an illness or not.  If someone struggles sleeping each and every night and it affects how they live and function I believe it should be considered an illness.  This is what insomnia is technically defined as and is diagnosed as by physicians.  An occasional restless night may only be a side-effect of an outside source affecting someones body, not an illness itself.  Similarly, anxiety can be seen as illness in the sense of it being severe, frequent, and cause normal every-day living to suffer.  A person may experience a bad event and feel an emotional pain but not diagnosed with anxiety.  Also, there are medications for both insomnia and anxiety prescribed by physicians to help relieve the sufferings.  This makes a case for these conditions to be seen as illnesses.

One thought on “W1 Activity: Insomnia

  1. After doing a little research into insomnia I learned some interesting things on its history. Insomnia and sleep have a long history, this really isn’t that surprising considering sleeping is something that everyone does and insomnia is something that often affects people under great deals of stress – which people in history often were. For example in India they recognized that good sleep was important for health and they used soothing sounds, smells and massages to try to lull people to sleep. In Great Britain they used teas, wine and hot soup to try to get people to sleep better. Traditional Chinese medicine tells of insomnia being the result of an imbalance in the body. They also have a host of different reasons for why the affected patient couldn’t sleep or awoke from their sleep early and the corresponding explanation for each. I think that the people saw a lot of importance in sleep for religious reasons as well. Dreams are very important spiritually and if someone is deprived of them in insomnia this is obviously something that would they would want to fix. Some of the ancient practices/remedies probably worked for getting better sleep but maybe not for all of the reasons the ancients thought they did. Very interesting subject though!

    1. “Hektoen International.” Hektoen International. 2016. Accessed July 10, 2016. http://www.hektoeninternational.org/index.php?option=com_content.
    2. “Traditional Medicine Take on Treating Insomnia.” Kaleidoscope.culture-china. Accessed July 10, 2016. http://kaleidoscope.cultural-china.com/en/117Kaleidoscope10220.html.

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