Woman Suffering From Insomnia in bed Insomnia is one of the most common sleep disorders in the U.S., affecting over 40 million Americans annually. Sleep deprivation can impact you on many levels including causing irritability, anxiety, lack of energy, excessive drowsiness and difficulty with tasks, learning, or remembering things. Research shows there is an increased risk of insomnia in older adults and women.

What are the Symptoms of Insomnia?

According to the guidelines posted by the National Sleep Foundation that were determined by a physicians group, people suffering with insomnia experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty falling asleep

  • Difficulty staying asleep (waking up during the night and having trouble returning to sleep)

  • Waking up too early in the morning

  • Unrefreshing sleep (also called “non-restorative sleep”)

  • Fatigue or low energy

  • Cognitive impairment, such as difficulty concentrating

  • Mood disturbance, such as irritability

  • Behavior problems, such as feeling impulsive or aggression

  • Difficulty at work or school

  • Difficulty in personal relationships, including family, friends and caregivers

What Are the Causes of Insomnia?

There are many elements that can lead to insomnia. Here are some of the most common factors associated with insomnia.

Stress, anxiety, or depression - If you feel worried, nervous, or feeling overwhelmed by responsibilities this can affect your ability to sleep. Even if this is not the first source of your inability to sleep, after prolonged problems with sleep, you can begin to feel anxious or stressed about your ability to get a good night’s sleep which can become a vicious cycle.

Changes in environment or work schedule – If you move and are trying to sleep in a new environment that is different from what you are used to or take a job were you work non-traditional hours can confuse your body’s clock. Either of these changes can cause you to have trouble with sleep.

Poor sleep habits – If you work on computer or watch TV right before bed, the lights from both of these are thought to make you more awake. If you sleep late on days off or take naps to make up for lost sleep you can confuse you body’s sleep clock.

Medical conditions or medications – There are many medical conditions that can make sleep more difficult to achieve. Many medications taken for a variety of conditions can also cause insomnia.

The Difference Between Acute and Chronic Insomnia

Insomnia - Man sleeping at Work Most people experience acute insomnia at some point in their life. It is a brief episode of having difficulty sleeping usually caused by stress, bad news, or travel. In most cases, acute insomnia will resolve itself with no treatment.

Chronic insomnia is a long-term problem of sleeping. If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep on three or more nights per week for three months or longer, than you have what is considered chronic insomnia. Most people with chronic insomnia have a long history of having difficulty sleeping. If left untreated, chronic insomnia can lead to psychiatric problems and increased risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

When Should You Seek Medical Advice

If you find yourself suffering from chronic insomnia, then call our office to get the help you need to get a good night’s rest. Over time, chronic insomnia can lead to many issues that can be detrimental to your mental and physical health. Our board-certified physicians are highly skilled in the diagnosis and treatment of insomnia and if necessary, they may recommend a sleep study at our sleep center. If you are suffering from chronic insomnia, call us today to get the answers you need to get the help you want for getting the sleep that is so essential for your quality of life.

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