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Stephen King - Insomnia

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INTRODUCTION

Stephen King's Number One Best-Seller, Insomnia, is a book about an elderly man named Ralph

Roberts who begins to suffer from early waking. This form of insomnia grows into a terrible problem for

Ralph as he begins to awaken earlier and earlier each morning. People begin to comment about his health

and sickly appearance. Many take it upon themselves to recommend old-fashioned home remedies that

aren't supposed to fail. Ralph attempted everything from staying up all night (much to his dismay, he found

himself growing more and more awake as the early morning hours passed) to sucking on honeycomb. None

of the-tried-and true remedies work and by the time Ralph is getting only about an hour of sleep each night,

Ralph begins to see auras around people. Naturally, Ralph begins to think that he is becoming senile

because of his old age of 70, even one of his best friends tells him that he has lost it. When Ralph meets two

little men from another realm of consciousness and they reveal that they caused him to lose sleep. They

explained to him that losing sleep enable him to see the auras that he had begun to see, he is quite relieved

to find that he isn't insane. This story progresses to its climax in which Ralph must take on a man who is

unknowingly helping the king of the dark side, known as the Random in this thriller, kill two thousand

people. There is a little boy amongst these people who will save two men in the future, these men are

destined to help the light side, known as the Purpose. During the fight, Ralph takes on the king of the

Random himself and wins. This saves the little boy and according to the two little men, the universe is

balanced once again. As promised by the two little otherworldly men, life returns to normal for Ralph and

he can once again sleep.

What happened to Ralph in this work is a very imaginative look at what happens to a person

suffering from insomnia. In scientific reports, there isn't evidence of the patient seeing auras, being capable

of rising to other levels of consciousness at will, or even entering levels which make them invisible to the

human eye, as Ralph did in the book. Sufferers of insomnia in the real world will experience difficulties

such as: daytime sleepiness, impaired performance, impaired memory, impaired alertness, impaired

concentration, anxiety, irritability, irregular sleep schedules, depression, poor appetite, chronic stress, and

disrupted social schedules.

THE DEFINITION

Insomnia is defined as the "perception or complaint of inadequate or poor-quality sleep because of

one of the following: difficulty falling asleep, waking up frequently during the night with difficulty

returning to sleep, waking up too early in the morning, and un-refreshing sleep," according to the National

Institutes of Health. Insomnia disrupts social schedules, which help maintain the body's natural rhythms. In

other words, insomnia disrupts normal daily patterns, which can sustain depression or lead to a relapse after

recovery. Insomnia is one of at least eighty four distinct sleep disorders that affect Americans. It is the most

common sleep disorder. Insomnia varies from restless or disturbed sleep to a reduction in the usual time

spent sleeping. In extreme conditions, insomnia includes complete wakefulness; this extremity seems to be

the stereotype that is most thought of when the subject of insomnia is mentioned.

There are many different types of insomnia. Transient insomnia only lasts for a few nights, in this

case, the sufferer's biological clock will often get back to normal on its own. When two to four weeks

consist of poor sleep, this is called short-term insomnia. As with transient insomnia, a sufferer of short-term

insomnia will usually just wait for their biological clock to get back on track. Medical treatment is usually

important when a person suffers from chronic insomnia. In the case of chronic insomnia, a person will be

lacking in sleep on most nights for a month or longer.

SLEEP PATTERNS

To best understand why insomnia is such a problem for those who suffer from it, the role of sleep

must be understood. Everyone requires a different amount of sleep. Most adults require about seven to eight

hours of sleep each night. Some adults can perform perfectly normal on only three hours of sleep, these

people are known as "short sleepers."

The role of sleep is a bit complex to explain on paper. The mechanism that induces sleep is

unknown. The pineal gland in the brain releases a hormone called melatonin, in the dark, this is thought to

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