Dr Adel ZaraaThe Psychiatry Department at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) will hold a public lecture on insomnia and its side effects on Wednesday 30 October at HMC’s Department of Psychiatry near the Center Roundabout at 6 pm.

The lecture is part of a series of events geared towards educating the public in mental health issues and will be delivered by Dr Adel Zaraa, Consultant of Psychiatry at HMC.

Insomnia, or sleeplessness, is a sleep disorder characterised by difficulty falling asleep and/or staying asleep, frequent awakenings and difficulty returning to sleep. According to Dr Zaraa, insomnia can be triggered by a variety of factors including stress. He said:

Insomnia can be attributed to emotional or mental reasons associated with daily life tension, work problems and financial stress – being the most common causes.’

‘The causes of insomnia can be behavioral. These habits include staying up until late at night, excessive intake of caffeinated drinks, smoking, consuming heavy meals shortly before bedtime and lack of regular exercise. Insomnia can also be attributed to organic (or physical) reasons including headaches, arthritis and other medical conditions.’

‘Prolonged periods of insomnia can lead to tension, lack of concentration and depression. It may also lead to physical complications such as muscular dystrophy, obesity, hypertension, irregular heartbeat and excessive production of cortisol hormone that leads to immune systems deficiency.’

To help prevent insomnia, people should maintain a regular sleep schedule and a wake-up time, exercises regularly, avoid caffeinated and carbonated drinks late in the afternoon and substitute them with milk and herbal drinks.