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
● 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 history. They may ask you about the stressors in your life, sleep history, and other things that can point to the cause of your sleep problems.
They may also run some blood tests and ask you to keep a sleep diary for several weeks so that they get a better insight into your sleeping habits. There are several apps where you can keep your sleep log and record when you go to bed and wake up, how much time it takes you to fall asleep, if you wake up during the night, how rested you feel in the morning, etc. Doing this will help your doctor to diagnose your condition more accurately.
In case they still need additional information, they may refer you to a sleep clinic for an overnight sleep study. Sometimes you’ll be able to do a sleep study at your home, but going to a clinic will ensure that somebody can follow your nocturnal movements and look for unusual events. A technician will attach many electrodes to your body, measuring your heart rate, brainwave patterns, breathing rate, and other factors.
After gathering all this information, a professional should be able to provide an accurate diagnosis.
What Does Insomnia Treatment Look Like?
The treatment for insomnia depends on the severity, underlying cause, and other factors surrounding this condition. The most common options include cognitive-behavioral therapy ( CBT), medications, supplements, natural remedies, and lifestyle adjustments.
CBT aims to reprogram the way we feel about sleep, and its goal is to eliminate frustration with the inability to fall or stay asleep. Your CBT therapist teaches various techniques to improve your slumber, such as stimulus control, bright light therapy, and sleep restriction. CBT also addresses underlying mental health issues impairing your sleep quality.
If you suffer from chronic lack of sleep, your clinician may prescribe some form of medication such as zolpidem, eszopiclone, or triazolam. They may also recommend melatonin supplements, as this hormone is essential for quality sleep.
In addition to these treatments, your sleep specialist or therapist may suggest some lifestyle adjustments. We’ve shared some great tips on how to improve your sleep hygiene in a blog post, so feel free to check it out.
Can a Quality Mattress Improve Sleep?
Although buying a new mattress won’t resolve your insomnia problems, it can help with several things. Firstly, a new mattress will make you feel better about your bedtime, and it may make you less anxious about going to sleep. This little excitement can bring a shift in your attitude that will make it easier to fall asleep.
A quality mattress provides support that eases the pressure of critical areas, which may alleviate your back pain. And if the pain is responsible for your insomnia, you can benefit from upgrading your mattress. In addition, it should provide comfort that creates a more pleasant sleep environment.
If you think a new mattress can improve your quality of sleep, there are plenty options at your disposal. Mattress sizes like the Wyoming King can be a great option for those struggling with sharing a bed with a partner. If you’re struggling to get quality sleep alone, simply replacing an old mattress with a more modern, comfortable one may help alleviate those issues. Make sure to check our mattress selection, as getting one of our incredible models can be a turning stone for your sleep problems.