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How To Know If You Suffer From Insomnia

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What To Do If You Have Insomnia

How to overcome insomnia when you have anxiety

If you believe you may have insomnia and would like to find out for certain, the most practical course of action is to seek the opinion of a professional health care provider. An accurate diagnosis of insomnia can typically be detected by a standard physical examination, accompanied by your documented history of medical and sleep problems. In certain instances, the medical examiner may ask to interview your sleep partner, or request that you keep a journal in order to document your sleep habits. Advanced cases may also be referred to professionals who will perform more detailed tests at a sleep center.

Although insomnia is a serious sleep disorder that affects a tremendous number of people every night, you may rest assured that it can be both treated and cured quite often by simply monitoring bedtime habits and making the necessary adjustments. If modest changes to your nightly ritual, etc. do not have the desired effect, however, dont be afraid to make an appointment with your doctor, who can discuss appropriate alternatives for lasting relief.

1. Vogin, Gary D. M.D.To Sleep, Perchance to Dream: All about Insomnia. . Last reviewed, January 30, 2005. 1996-2005. Retrieved on June 8, 2009.

2. WebMD. What is Insomnia?. Retrieved on June 8, 2009.

There Are 2 Types Of Insomnia

There are two particular known types of the disorder: primary and secondary insomnia. Primary insomnia is a condition that affects people who do not otherwise suffer from any other medical problems. Secondary insomnia is a condition, by contrast, that affects people who do suffer from other ailments, the complications from which cause a person to lose sleep at night. People whove been diagnosed with asthma, heart problems, depression, anxiety, or arthritis pain frequently suffer from the secondary category.

An important variable related to insomnia is the amount of time that one can suffer from it. Insomnia is either considered acute or chronic . Acute insomnia can last anywhere from just one night up to a few weeks, whereas the chronic variety can, in certain cases, last for several months or even years, occurring some three times a week or more2.

Suggestions For Improving Sleep

There are several strategies for helping you avoid behaviors that get in the way of good sleep. You can develop good sleep habits by practicing some of the below:

  • Relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises and progressive muscle relaxation can help reduce anxiety at bedtime. Other relaxation techniques include taking a warm bath or meditating prior to going to bed.
  • Controlling stimuli such as using the bedroom for sleep only and not allowing other stimuli such as electronics in. This will help you dissociate your bed as a place of busy activity.
  • Setting a consistent bedtime and wake-up time can help you train yourself for consistent sleep.
  • Avoiding naps and similar sleep restrictions can make you feel more tired at bedtime which can help improve insomnia for some people.
  • Avoiding stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine close to bedtime can help you be physically ready for sleep. Your doctor might also recommend avoiding alcohol close to bedtime.

Your doctor may suggest other strategies tailored to your sleep environment and lifestyle that will help you learn and develop habits that will promote healthy sleep.

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Signs And Symptoms Of Insomnia

Insomnia is difficulty in initiating or maintaining sleep. One may have an inability to fall asleep or to remain sleeping long enough to feel rested. This is a problem, especially if the sleeplessness continues for a long time.

The condition is not a disorder in itself, but may be caused by any of various problems, such as physical disorders, fear, stress, anxiety, depression or stress. Insomnia can also be caused by an addiction to medications, caffeine, nicotine, alcohol or other heavier drugs.

Insomnia is categorized depending on how long it lasts and how often it occurs. Acute insomnia means that you suffer from sleep problems for a few weeks. If you suffer from insomnia for a longer period , you have chronic insomnia.

Signs You Might Have Insomnia

Depressed young woman sitting alone in her bed, suffering ...

Do you notice that even though you think you had a good night of sleep, you wake up feeling like you didnt sleep at all? Or maybe it takes you over an hour to fall asleep. If so, you may be experiencing some symptoms of insomnia.

Insomnia, defined by the National Sleep Foundation as the difficulty of falling asleep or staying asleep even when you have the chance to do so, is a common sleep disorder that about 40 million Americans experience annually.

There are two different types of insomnia: acute, which can come from poor sleep health or habits, and chronic, which may be due to pre-existing medical conditions.

The National Sleep Foundation states that insomnia can vary in how long it lasts and how often it occurs. Some people can experience it temporarily due to how stress affects your body or traumatic events. But others may experience it for months.

Here are some signs to look out for if you think youre suffering from insomnia.

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About The Quality Of Your Sleep

1. How difficult do you find falling asleep?

0. Not difficult at all 1. Not really difficult 2. Moderately difficult 3. Difficult 4. Very difficult

2. How difficult do you find staying asleep? Do you wake up often during the night?

0. Not difficult at all 1. Not really difficult 2. Moderately difficult 3. Difficult 4. Very difficult

3. How difficult do you find waking up in the morning?

0. Not difficult at all 1. Not really difficult 2. Moderately difficult 3. Difficult 4. Very difficult

The Main Signs Of Insomnia

The primary sign of symptom of this condition is amnesia, poor concentration, and loss of muscle coordination, among others. When someone has the condition, the mixture of muscle spasms and vivid dreams could cause an array of other symptoms, such as:If youre experiencing these symptoms and experiencing muscle pain, its likely that you simply are affected by fatal familial insomnia. Many individuals experience muscle pain within the neck, back, head, or shoulders during the night or their waking hours.One of the foremost popular signals of insomnia syndrome is excessive muscle pain while sleeping. Muscle pain is common in people that struggle with sleep deprivation symptoms and fail to sleep. its possible to spot whether your body is experiencing this pain by listening to how your arms, legs, or upper body feel once you plan tomove them.

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Habits That Cause Insomnia And Disrupt Sleep

While treating underlying physical and mental issues is a good first step, it may not be enough to cure your insomnia. You also need to look at your daily habits. Some of the things youre doing to cope with insomnia may actually be making the problem worse.

For example, maybe youre using sleeping pills or alcohol to fall asleep, which disrupts sleep even more over the long-term. Or maybe you drink excessive amounts of coffee during the day, making it harder to fall asleep later. Other daytime habits that can negatively impact your ability to sleep at night include having an irregular sleep schedule, napping, eating sugary foods or heavy meals too close to bedtime, and not getting enough exercise or exercising too late in the day.

Not only can poor daytime habits contribute to insomnia, but a poor nights sleep can make these habits harder to correct, creating a vicious cycle of unrefreshing sleep:

Oftentimes, changing the habits that are reinforcing sleeplessness is enough to overcome the insomnia altogether. It may take a few days for your body to get used to the change, but once you do, youll sleep better.

If youre having trouble identifying insomnia-causing habits

Some habits are so ingrained that you may overlook them as a possible contributor to your insomnia. Maybe your Starbucks habit affects your sleep more than you realize. Or maybe youve never made the connection between that late-night glass of wine and your sleep difficulties.

Insomnia By The Numbers


Various sleep surveys and studies have yielded mixed results about the prevalence of insomnia among different sleeper groups. Some conservative estimates show that 10% to 30%of adults live with chronic insomnia. For other studies, this figure is closer to 50% to 60%.

Insomnia is more prevalent in certain demographic groups, as well. Studies have shown insomnia affects 30% to 48% of older people. This may be attributed to chronic medical conditions, social isolation, and higher use of prescription medications, as well as factors like unhealthy sleep habits and stress that cause insomnia across all age groups. Other studies have found insomnia may occur in up to 23.8% of teenagers. More than 50% of pregnant women experience sleep issues that may be insomnia symptoms, as well.

Insomnia rates among different racial and ethnic groups are a bit harder to pin down. Some studies show a higher prevalence rate for insomnia among minority groups compared to Whites. Other studies have yielded contrasting results, which suggest Whites struggle with sleep-onset and sleep maintenance more than Blacks and Hispanics.

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Common Treatment Types For Sleep Apnea

There are various ways sleep apnea can be treated, including:

CPAP Therapy. A CPAP machine is used to keep your airways open as you sleep. The machine uses mild air pressure and is attached to a mask or prongs that fit in your nose.

Alternatives. There are other alternatives if you dont like the idea of wearing a mask to bed. You can choose to:

  • Wear a dental or oral appliance. To find out more, this article, Pros and Cons of Dental Sleep Apnea Treatment Devices, provides the ways in which an oral appliance can help patients with sleep apnea, as well as the shortcomings of a using a dental device for sleep apnea.
  • Have surgery. If oral appliances and CPAP dont work for you, surgery is an option.
  • Undergo a weight management program. Losing weight may help improve or eliminate your symptoms if youre obese or overweight.
  • Try positional therapy. Some people primarily suffer from sleep apnea when they sleep on their back. Positional therapy often involves wearing a device that keeps you sleeping on your side.

Drop In Mental Performance

It has been shown in many studies that insomnia leads to a significant drop in mental performance.

This may be quite a big problem, especially in jobs that are mentally demanding.

Imagine a doctor that suffers from insomnia and who accidentally prescribes the wrong drug or the wrong dosage of drugs.

In the worst case, this could lead to the death of people due to mental underperformance.

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The Only Way To Overcome Insomnia Is By Using Powerful Sleeping Pills

Sleeping pills are only recommended for certain cases of short term insomnia. They wont help at all with long term insomnia. They only mask the symptoms of insomnia without tackling the root cause. They can also have very nasty side effects, particularly if you take them in high enough doses for long periods of time. Sleeping pills are a very small part of a huge range of treatments of insomnia that are available.

What Exactly Is Insomnia

How Do I Know If I Have Insomnia? Causes, Symptoms &  More

Insomnia is a sleep disorder that can cause issues with falling asleep, staying asleep, or both, according to the US National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus resource. It essentially leads to poor sleep quality or getting too little sleep.

The disorder may be classified as chronic, or long-term insomnia or acute, or short-term insomnia. “In adults, chronic insomnia is defined as the inability to fall or stay asleep, or waking up earlier than desired, Alcibiades Rodriguez, MD, medical director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center-Sleep Center at NYU Langone Health, tells Health. It has to be present at least three times per week for three months. On the other hand, acute insomnia lasts for less than three months, and may only persist for a few days or weeks.

Insomnia can also be either a primary or secondary issue. While primary insomnia occurs in isolation and is often a condition influenced by genetics that may start in childhood, secondary insomnia often develops due to another underlying condition, Brandon Peters-Mathews, MD, a sleep medicine doctor at Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, and author of Sleep Through Insomnia, tells Health.

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What It Is How It Affects You And How To Help You Get Back Your Restful Nights

    According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicines ICSD-3 manual, insomnia is defined as persistent difficulty with sleep initiation, duration, consolidation or quality. Insomnia has many potential contributing factors and symptoms, but its diagnosis hinges on two essential components: sleep difficulties that occur despite adequate opportunities for normal sleep, and daytime impairment that directly results from poor sleep quality or duration.

    Chronic insomnia is characterized by symptoms that occur at least three times per week for at least three months. Insomnia that lasts or less than three months is known as short-term insomnia. In rare cases, patients may exhibit insomnia symptoms without meeting the criteria for short-term insomnia and may warrant some form of treatment. This is known as other insomnia.

    While insomnia can manifest in different ways, most diagnoses fall into one of two categories:

    Some people may have mixed insomnia that involves both sleep-onset and sleep maintenance difficulties, and people with chronic insomnia may find that these symptoms shift over time.

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    What Other Problems Can Insomnia Cause

    Insomnia can cause daytime sleepiness and a lack of energy. It also can make you feel anxious, depressed, or irritable. You may have trouble focusing on tasks, paying attention, learning, and remembering. Insomnia also can cause other serious problems. For example, it could make you may feel drowsy while driving. This could cause you get into a car accident.

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    Anxiety And Insomnia: Whats The Link

    Anxiety and insomnia seem to go together, especially when stress is involved.

    Anxiety is a natural response your body has to stress or fear, which can already wreak havoc on your sleep.

    The American Psychological Association notes that 43 percent of Americanadults report that stress has caused them to lie awake at night in the past month. And, poor sleep habits have been linked to illnesses like depressionand anxiety.

    Does Anxiety Go Away

    Insomnia Tips to Help You Fall Asleep Tonight

    For those people that are diagnosed with a legitimate anxiety disorder, the condition is unlikely to go away. Some people may be able to better control their anxiety disorder with the help and guidance of a therapist or psychologist, and medications may help further control the condition. There may also be specific coping mechanisms to help manage anxiety disorders, however, a permanent cure for anxiety does not currently exist.

    For those that do not suffer from an anxiety disorder, but only have occasional or intermittent anxiety from time-to-time, this is normal and healthy behavior for many people. Temporary anxiety is likely to diminish over time, and if it is related to a specific place or person, removing yourself from those situations may help the anxiety go away after some time.

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    Check If You Have Insomnia

    You have insomnia if you regularly:

    • find it hard to go to sleep
    • wake up several times during the night
    • lie awake at night
    • wake up early and cannot go back to sleep
    • still feel tired after waking up
    • find it hard to nap during the day even though you’re tired
    • feel tired and irritable during the day
    • find it difficult to concentrate during the day because you’re tired

    If you have insomnia for a short time its called short-term insomnia. Insomnia that lasts 3 months or longer is called long-term insomnia.

    Which Comes First Does Anxiety Cause Insomnia

    So, does anxiety cause insomnia? Or does insomnia cause anxiety? Well it could be either. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association ofAmerica, anxiety can cause sleep problems and sleep deprivation can also lead to an anxiety disorder.

    A 2012 review of studies found that psychiatric disorders can impact sleep. Sleep problems are often present or influenced by psychiatric disorders. In the case of anxiety, chronic insomnia may also increase your chances of developing an anxiety disorder.

    Another review of studies found that brain activity after periods of sleep deprivation is similar to brain activity in anxiety disorders. More specifically, your brains fight-or-flight response turns on when you havent slept enough.

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    How To Diagnose Insomnia

    If you think you may have insomnia, ask yourself the following questions:

    • Does it take you more than 30 minutes to fall asleep, or do you wake up during the night and have trouble returning to sleep, or do you wake up earlier than desired?
    • Do you have daytime symptoms such as fatigue, moodiness, sleepiness or reduced energy?
    • Do you give yourself enough time in bed to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night?
    • Do you go to bed in a safe, dark and quiet environment that should allow you to sleep well?

    If you answered yes to all these questions, then you may have insomnia.

    If youve had insomnia for at least three months , consider booking an appointment with a sleep doctor at an accredited sleep center. If you have had insomnia for fewer than three months, you may have short-term insomnia. Try to follow good sleep hygiene, and if the problem does not go away in three months, talk to your medical provider.

    A sleep doctor can diagnose insomnia and work with you to help identify its causes. She will work with the sleep team at an accredited sleep center to treat your insomnia.

    Consider keeping a sleep diary for two weeks. By recording when you go to sleep and when you wake up, along with how long you were awake during the night, a sleep diary will help your doctor see your habits. This may give your doctor clues about what is causing your insomnia and what course of treatment to take.

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