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Everything You Need to Know About Insomnia

Updated: Oct 19, 2022

Insomnia is a sleep disorder affecting your ability to fall and stay asleep. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, around 30% of American adults struggle with insomnia. However, it is usually short-lived, and only 10% of people experiencing the symptoms develop chronic insomnia.

This sleep disorder can have devastating effects on your physical and mental health, as sleep is essential for our well-being. That’s why it is vital to recognize the early symptoms and seek medical help.

Read on to find the most common insomnia symptoms, causes, and treatment options.

What Are The Most Common Insomnia Symptoms?

Insomnia affects one in three US adults, causing sleep problems such as:

● Difficulty falling asleep

● Waking up frequently during the night

● Not being able to go back to sleep after waking up too early

● Not feeling refreshed even though you had enough sleep

People with insomnia can experience some of the following symptoms:

● Daytime sleepiness

● Chronic fatigue

● Sleep anxiety

● Mood swings

● Irritability

● Inability to focus

● Poor memory

● Decreased performance in school or at work

● Frequent headaches

● Lack of motivation

● Stomach problems

Lack of sleep leads to chronic fatigue, and people with insomnia often feel tired throughout the day. Although they are usually able to perform adequately despite this, they should still seek adequate treatment.

What Causes Insomnia?

There are two types of insomnia: primary and secondary. Primary insomnia is unrelated to other medical, environmental, or psychiatric issues. On the other hand, the onset of secondary insomnia can be linked with another disease, mental health disorder, medication use, or another sleep disorder.

Acute insomnia can result from stress, trauma, jet lag, certain medications, or a change in sleep regimen. For instance, when going on a vacation, you may find it difficult to fall asleep in a hotel bed. This issue is short-lived, and it usually resolves after a few days or when you go back to your standard sleeping arrangement.

On the other hand, chronic insomnia can develop due to chronic pain, arthritis, sleep apnea, another sleep disorder, anxiety, depression, substance abuse disorder, diabetes, and many other conditions.

Although insomnia can affect people of all ages, it is more common in older adults. Chronic insomnia affects women more than men, and the onset is usually just before, during, or after menopause.

Other risk factors include:

● A sedentary lifestyle

● Shift work

● Irregular sleep-wake times

● High stress levels

● Frequent traveling to different time zones

● Drinking too much caffeine

● Excessive alcohol and tobacco use

● Frequent naps

How Is Insomnia Diagnosed?

If you experience insomnia symptoms, your healthcare provider performs a physical exam and reviews your medical