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abnormal wakefulness or inability to sleepsleep,
resting state in which an individual becomes relatively quiescent and relatively unaware of the environment. During sleep, which is in part a period of rest and relaxation, most physiological functions such as body temperature, blood pressure, and rate of breathing and
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. The condition may result from illness or physical discomfort, or it may be caused by stimulants such as coffee or drugs. However, frequently some psychological factor, such as worry or tension, is the cause. Mild insomnia may often be relieved by a soothing activity like reading or listening to soft music. Chronic or severe insomnia requires treatment of the underlying physical or psychological disorder. In a few, very rare cases, individuals in certain families are subject to an incurable inherited insomia caused by prions that form plaques in the thalamusthalamus
, mass of nerve cells centrally located in the brain just below the cerebrum and resembling a large egg in size and shape. The thalamus is a routing station for all incoming sensory impulses except those of smell, transmitting them to higher (cerebral) nerve centers.
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; the disease appears suddenly in adulthood and ultimately is fatal.

Many patients respond to the assurance that their sleeplessness is a result of normal anxieties or a treatable physical disorder. Opportunities to ventilate anxieties often ease distress and helps resume normal sleeping patterns. Elderly persons are encourage to exercise more during the day; instructed relaxation, administration of tryptophan, and intake of warm milk helps some patients sleep. Sedatives and hypnotics drugs may be employed if the sleeplessness is impairing the subject's sense of well being. Those who wake because of pain receive an analgesic at bedtime; for those who experience insomnia accompanied with depression, an antidepressant often suffices.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(also agrypnia), disturbed sleep. Insomnia manifests itself as a shortening of the period of nocturnal sleep, delay in onset of sleep, early awakening, and repeated interruption of sleep during the night. Sleep is also impaired qualitatively; it becomes more superficial, the length of deep sleep is diminished, and the balance between dream-sleep and dreamless sleep is upset. Insomnia occurs in cases of neurosis, certain cardiovascular and psychological illnesses, neuro infections, and injury to those parts of the brain that regulate the correct alternation of sleep and wakefulness. In healthy people, it may occur after great physical or mental stress, fatigue, strong emotional experiences, and similar instances. The total absence of nocturnal or daytime sleep for long durations almost never occurs.

Treatment involves adherence to the correct regimen of work and rest, the elimination of irritating factors, bathing, and exercise. The patient may be prescribed tranquilizers and, in cases of persistent insomnia, soporifics. In cases of insomnia caused by illness, treatment consists in eliminating the original illness responsible for the insomnia.


Pervov, L. G. Son i ego narushenie, Moscow, 1965.
Fedotov, D. D. Son i ego rasstroistvo. Moscow, 1966.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Sleeplessness; disturbed sleep; prolonged inability to sleep.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


The inability to sleep. If you suffer from it, the solution is to look up all the terms under "standards" in this encyclopedia. Dozing should occur shortly. If that does not work... well, at least you will become the computer guru on your block!
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References in periodicals archive ?
A good long-term care insurance specialist will be appointed to compare policies from at least four or five long term care insurance companies.
Long live the king: under Gemunder's guidance the leading provider of pharmaceutical products to the long term care industry had another banner year in 2004 and early 2005.
Unfortunately, that's a by-product of diabetes and obesity, and chronic conditions that are requiring long term care.
For example, to resolve a wrongful death suit against a nursing home in southern California, the facility settled for $1 million in February 2004, according to Sylvia Taylor, executive director of Long Term Care Services of Ventura County.
Did the person do something industry-impacting that he is considered "the father of," such as a new method in long term care?
AMDA is the professional association of medical directors and physicians practicing in the long term care continuum, dedicated to excellence in patient care by providing education, advocacy, information and professional development
Hering is one of thousands of trained volunteer ombudsmen who regularly visit long term care facilities, educate residents of their rights, monitor conditions and care, collect data and provide a voice for those who are unable to speak for themselves.
MDI was established in 1982 with the creation of a software package designed to meet the unique data management requirements of long term care facilities.
There are more than 77 million aging baby boomers who will need some type of support as they age, yet our current long term care system is not sustainable.
Cloud Technical College (SCTC), Good Shepherd offers Long Term Care Connections, a training program that prepares CNAs and other caregivers to become LPNs.
ACHCA is the professional society for administrators in long term care, offering educational programming, career development opportunities and certification in a variety of positions.
Cooper's discovery is typical of the long-term care field: Much of what is said about how nursing homes and other long term care providers react to policy initiatives and reimbursement practices consists of urban legends and anecdotal information.