Do You Have Chronic Insomnia? Here’s What You Need to Know
If you frequently have trouble falling asleep, or staying asleep for long enough periods of time to get adequate rest, then you may be struggling with a sleep disorder known as insomnia. Sleep is vital to your health, happiness, and overall success and well-being in life, so if you aren’t getting properly rested due to insomnia, it’s important to learn more about how you can once again get the rest you desperately desire and need to function.
What is Insomnia?
The National Sleep Foundation defines insomnia as difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, even when a person has the chance to do so. Insomnia can also present by causing a person to awake too early in the morning without being able to fall back asleep.
For some, this condition may come and go. For others, however, it can be an ongoing, and debilitating condition that compromises their health and ability to go through their days with much needed energy that typically stems from a good night’s rest.
Common symptoms of insomnia include:
- Difficulty focusing
- Memory problems
- Lack of energy and motivation
- Sleepiness during the day
- Poor mood
- Increased likelihood of accidents or mistakes
Insomnia is categorized into 2 main types, acute insomnia and chronic insomnia.
Acute insomnia only impacts someone for a short period of time (3 months or less) and can be attributed to life circumstances that might be bringing about heightened stress or worry. This type of disruption in sleep usually remedies itself and does not usually require treatment.
Chronic insomnia occurs when someone experiences difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep at least 3 times a week, for 3 months or more. According to The National Sleep Foundation, chronic insomnia can be instigated by the following reasons:
- Changes in environment
- Unhealthy sleep habits
- Shift work confuses sleep cycles
- Clinical disorders such as anxiety or depression
How Many People are Impacted by this Disorder?
There are many people who struggle to fall asleep each night. In fact, according to sleepeducation.org, 30-35% of adults experience brief symptoms of insomnia. 10-15% have short term sleep difficulties that typically last 3 months or less.
10% of adults struggle with chronic insomnia, and have trouble sleeping at least 3 nights a week for many months at a time.
Effects of Chronic Insomnia
If left untreated, chronic insomnia can have many detrimental health effects including weight gain, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Lack of sleep can also lead to decreased enjoyment in life and even depression. Not getting enough sleep over extended periods of time can also impact performance at work or school.
Is there a Treatment for Insomnia?
If you’re suffering from insomnia, it can drastically and negatively impact your health, and your life. However, there are natural remedies and medical treatments that can aid you in getting the sleep you need to restore your health and happiness.
- If you have sporadic bouts of insomnia never lasting more than a couple months, then there are some natural remedies you can try to help you sleep better.
- Drinking a glass of warm milk or almond milk at bedtime can help your body relax. The calcium in milk also helps your body create more melatonin, which is the relaxing hormone that is released prior to falling asleep.
- You can also try melatonin supplements or caffeine-free herbal tea before bed in order to help your body and mind relax and prepare for sleep.
More extreme or prolonged cases of insomnia may require medical treatment such as clinical therapy and antidepressants or medications prescribed by a doctor to help aid your need to fall or stay sleep such as the below:
Consult a Doctor
If you are experiencing issues with not being able to fall asleep, stay asleep, or awaking too early in the morning, you could be suffering from insomnia. Sleep is important to your health, vitality, and life function and satisfaction, so if your sleep patterns are disrupted to the point they are impacting you for long periods of time, then you should consult a doctor for help getting frequent, and restful sleep.
At Valley Sleep Center, we are the sleep experts and we are here to help you take control of your sleep health. Most insurance companies do not require a referral to meet with one of our Board Certified Sleep Physicians.
If you are having sleeping problems, the first step would be to make an appointment for a sleep consultation to meet with one of our sleep physicians. At that time they will determine if a sleep study is necessary.
Click here to schedule an appointment or call 480-830-3900.