Conditions Related To Insomnia
Sleep is so important to overall health that a lack of it is linked, directly or indirectly, to almost every health condition. In some cases, insomnia is thought to be a cause or contributing factor to a condition or makes others symptoms worse. And for many conditions, other symptoms make it more difficult to sleep and contribute to insomnia.
Some of the conditions that insomnia is most closely associated with include :
- Mental health disorders, including depression and anxiety
- High blood pressure and heart disease
The National Sleep Foundation focuses on sleep education and advocacy that promotes health and well-being. Check out the foundations website for information on insomnia and other sleep disorders, as well tips on healthy sleep that everyone should know.
How Much Sleep Do Most People Need
Most adults need around seven to nine hours of sleep per night but the amount of sleep needed to function at your best varies between individuals. The quality of your rest matters just as much as the quantity. Tossing and turning and repeatedly awakening is as bad for your health as being unable to fall asleep.
Is It My Sleeping Environment
If you want to sleep soundly, a cooler room is better than a warmer one. Experts recommend that you set your bedroom temperature between 60 and 70°F .
If youre waking up thirsty, its also possible that the air in your home is too dry.
The Environmental Protection Agency recommends that you keep the humidity in your home between 30 and 50 percent. This is dry enough to limit mold growth.
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How Can I Sleep Better
- Avoid caffeine, smoking and alcohol, especially in the hours before bedtime.
- Avoid heavy meals or strenuous exercise shortly before going to bed.
- Go to bed and get up at the same time each day.
- Regular daytime exercise helps you feel more relaxed and tired at bedtime.
This section will discuss five topics which can help to promote better sleep:
- Understanding some facts.
- Daytime exercise.
- Psychological treatments called cognitive and behavioural therapies.
In effect, these can be used in a step-wise fashion. You need only go on to the next step if the previous step is not very helpful, but each step requires a greater degree of effort.
A Combination Of Causes
Weve looked at each cause of insomnia individually but the cause of your insomnia could be the result of a combination of different causes.
Qs a teenager I suffered from delayed sleep phase syndrome. This was caused by going to bed later and later, which caused me to associate bed time with staying awake. The association meant my mind would be active during bed time. I also had an uncomfortable mattress and slept in the room I worked and played video games. In addition I was taking medication which had the unwelcome side effect of becoming sleepier throughout the day. It was the combination of this that caused my insomnia.
One cause often leads to another, making it harder to break free from insomnia. This is why insomnia should be treated as soon as possible.
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After reading this article, the cause or causes of your insomnia may become immediately apparent. If not, take the Causes of Insomnia Questionnaire. That questionnaire will help you identify the causes of your insomnia.
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What Is A Normal Amount Of Sleep
Different people need different amounts of sleep. Some people function well and are not tired during the day with just 3-4 hours’ sleep a night. Most people need more than this. To need 6-9 hours per night is average. Most people establish a pattern that is normal for them in their early adult life. However, as you become older, it is normal to sleep less. For most people it takes less than thirty minutes to fall asleep.
So, everyone is different. What is important is that the amount of sleep that you get should be sufficient for you, and that you usually feel refreshed and not sleepy during the daytime. Therefore, the strict medical definition of insomnia is: ‘Difficulty in getting to sleep, difficulty staying asleep, early wakening, or non-restorative sleep despite adequate time and opportunity to sleep, resulting in impaired daytime functioning, such as poor concentration, mood disturbance, and daytime tiredness.’
Further ways to promote sleep in more difficult cases include relaxation techniques, regular exercise and certain psychological therapies. Sleeping tablets are not the best way to help with sleep problems because you can get addicted to them and they often stop working if you take them regularly.
Causes Of Insomnia: Mental Health
Poor sleep hygiene is not the only cause of insomnia. Mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and stress may also cause insomnia. In addition, medications used to treat some of these mental health problems may also cause or increase sleep problems. Discuss any sleep-related problems you think are caused by medications with your physician.
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How Goodpath Can Help
Insomnia is a wide-spread problem with many different causes. It affects a persons physical and mental health and their ability to function well in daily activities.
Please take our assessment about your insomnia. We will provide you with a personalized care plan based on your responses. Take this step today to feel better every day.
How A Pharmacist Can Help With Insomnia
You can buy tablets or liquids from a pharmacy that may help you sleep better.
Some contain natural ingredients while others, like Nytol, are an antihistamine.
They cannot cure insomnia but may help you sleep better for 1 to 2 weeks. They should not be taken for any longer.
Some of these products can have side effects, for instance, they may make you drowsy. This could make it difficult for you to do certain things like drive.
Check with your doctor before taking anything for your sleep problems.
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Research And Statistics: How Many People Have Insomnia
Roughly 25 percent of the population experiences at least one bout of acute insomnia each year, according to a 2018 study from the University of Pennsylvania. That same study also found that about 1 in 4 of these folks will develop persistent or chronic insomnia.
The National Sleep Foundation reports chronic insomnia may be much more prevalent with research finding prevalence rates as high as between 10 and 30 percent.
Statistics on short sleep, meaning those who sleep less than seven hours each night, find that men are very slightly more likely to get insufficient sleep than women. Also, people who are obese, as well as those who smoke or who do not exercise, are much more likely to sleep less than seven hours compared with people who do not check those boxes, according to the CDC.
Some of the latest research on insomnia has looked at its connections with other diseases or disorders, and especially diseases of the nervous system and brain. For example, theres evidence that insomnia is both an early warning sign and a possible contributor to brain diseases like Alzheimers, notes the National Sleep Foundation.
Theres also research that suggests sleep helps you learn, even when it comes to muscle-memory related tasks like playing the piano.
Who Is At Risk For Insomnia
Insomnia is common. It affects women more often than men. You can get it at any age, but older adults are more likely to have it. You are also at higher risk of insomnia if you:
- Have a lot of stress
- Are depressed or have other emotional distress, such as divorce or death of a spouse
- Have a lower income
- Have an inactive lifestyle
- Are African American research shows that African Americans take longer to fall asleep, don’t sleep as well, and have more sleep-related breathing problems than whites.
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Why Stress Causes Sleep Disorders
Stress and Insomnia go hand in hand. It becomes more complicated to stay relaxed and feel comfortable when we spend our days running to manage our job, career or business, family life, and personal life. Often, 24 hours in a day are not enough when we live surrounded by the Digital world and lots of stress. Stress causes symptoms of insomnia. While Insomnia itself is the reason for anxiety, its the vicious circle that we should break.
How stress provokes Insomnia
Our body has a biological clock, and only that schedule ensures a healthy lifecycle of all the actions taking place inside us. Stress breaks this chain, and it can impact negatively in many ways affecting your quality of life.
Imagine you are lying in bed feeling anxious, worrying, thinking about pondering deep questions or feeling stressed about insomnia itself. All those thoughts will not let you feel relaxed and calm your mind enough to fall asleep. For many people, this stress is temporary and can be quickly resolved, but when it continues night after night, then the very thing keeping you awake is the stress about losing sleep.
- mood changes
- weight gain
When you experience sleepless nights for several months then you are suffering from chronic insomnia and you need to see the doctor. Chronic insomnia itself isnt risky for your life but it may lead to disorders in the chemical processes that are taking place in your body all the time.
Relieving Anxiety That Keeps You From Falling Or Staying Asleep
If sleep worries are getting in the way of your ability to unwind at night, the following strategies may help. The goal is to train your body to associate the bed with sleep and nothing elseespecially not frustration and anxiety.
Use the bedroom only for sleeping and sex. With many of us working from home now, it can be difficult to avoid, but if possible dont work, use your computer, or watch TV in your bedroom. The goal is to associate the bedroom with sleep alone, so that your brain and body get a strong signal that its time to nod off when you get into bed.
Move bedroom clocks out of view. Anxiously watching the minutes tick by when you cant sleepknowing that youre going to be exhausted when the alarm goes offis a surefire recipe for insomnia. You can use an alarm, but make sure you cant see the time when youre in bed.
Get out of bed when you cant sleep. Dont try to force yourself to sleep. Tossing and turning only amps up your anxiety. Get up, leave the bedroom, and do something relaxing, such as reading, meditating, or taking a bath. When youre sleepy, go back to bed.
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Daytime Effects Of Insomnia
Feeling tired, sleepy, or even ill
Feeling irritable or moody
Having headaches or gastrointestinal upsets
In fact, as many as 3 out of 5 people with insomnia have such symptoms. They increase the risk for:
Poor work, school, or other activity performance. For instance, it may be difficult for a person to perform well in an athletic competition when they are tired or when their energy or motivation is low.
Errors or accidents. As an example, a person having trouble with attention and concentration has an increased chance of having an accident while driving.
Favorite Insomnia Blogs And Podcasts
The Sleep Doctor blog is run by Michael J. Breus, PhD, a clinical psychologist, a diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine, and a fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Find blog posts by Dr. Breus on new insomnia research, tips on managing the sleep disorder, and sleep hygiene recommendations to help prevent the problem to begin with. Breus also publishes a list of sleep devices and products he recommends.
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What Are The Negative Effects Of Dehydration
Weve all experienced ityou get to the end of your day and realize youve only had a few sips of water. Not good! When youre dehydrated, you may experience:
- Increased thirst and a dry mouth
- Fatigue and confusion
Its happens to all of us. Youre busy and sometimes the day gets away from you. However, if youre not careful, constant dehydration can cause severe problems. Make sure you talk with your doctor if your symptoms are severe or youre having a hard time maintaining healthy hydration levels.
Health Impacts Of Dehydration And Lack Of Sleep
Sleep deprivation has some mild impacts on our bodies and some very serious ones. Weve all heard that we should be getting 7-9 hours sleep a night, but what happens to us if we dont? The answer is kind of scary! We need sleep to recover and restore. Not getting enough can reduce your mental capabilities, compromise your physical health, is linked to having an inefficient immune response and can make you gain weight.
You might notice some of the more obvious symptoms first. You might experience:
- Problems with your memory, both short and long-term.
- Not being able to think clearly or concentrate properly.
- Moodiness and irritability.
- Low sex drive.
- Issues with coordination and balance.
While these symptoms might seem annoying, they can have some serious long-term impacts on your health. If you let your dehydration and sleep deprivation go untreated and it becomes chronic, your risk for more dangerous health impacts increases. This includes:
- A weakened immune system, leaving you more vulnerable to infections, viruses, and diseases.
- High blood pressure, cardiovascular issues and increased risk of heart disease.
- Mental health problems, including depression and anxiety.
- Increased risk of diabetes, as lack of sleep, affects your bodys ability to release insulin.
- Increased risk of injury and accidents.
- Increased risk of dementia.
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Can Melatonin Help Me Sleep
Your body produces a hormone called melatonin that promotes sleep. Some people take melatonin supplements as a sleep aid. But theres no proof that these supplements work. Because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesnt regulate supplements the same as medications, you should talk to your healthcare provider before taking one.
Causes Of Insomnia: Figuring Out Why You Cant Sleep
In order to properly treat and cure your insomnia, you need to become a sleep detective. Emotional issues such as stress, anxiety, and depression cause half of all insomnia cases. But your daytime habits, sleep routine, and physical health may also play a role. Try to identify all possible causes of your insomnia. Once you figure out the root cause, you can tailor treatment accordingly.
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Are You Really Tired Or Is Dehydration Making You Sleepy
Did you know that human beings can survive for almost three weeks without food but can only last days without water? This should indicate just how essential water is for our survival, but unfortunately many of us neglect our water intake, leading to symptoms such as fatigue. Thats why Im here today to examine the role that dehydration can play in making us feel tired and how it impacts your sleep pattern.
Why Is Sleep Important
Sleep is essential for good health. During sleep, our bodies and brains repair themselves. Some research suggests our brains use the time during sleep to clear away toxins that build up during the day.25 Sleep is also important to our ability to learn and form memories. Not getting enough sleep puts people at risk for health problems, including high blood pressure, obesity, and depression.
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Whats Causing Your Insomnia
- Are you under a lot of stress?
- Are you depressed? Do you feel emotionally flat or hopeless?
- Do you struggle with chronic feelings of anxiety or worry?
- Have you recently gone through a traumatic experience?
- Are you taking any medications that might be affecting your sleep?
- Do you have any health problems that may be interfering with sleep?
- Is your bedroom quiet and comfortable?
- Do you try to go to bed and get up around the same time every day?
What Is Chronic Insomnia
Insomnia is a condition where we have persistent, problematic problems with sleeping. Some people with insomnia find it hard to sleep others find that they wake often and for long periods through the night some have both.
Having occasional problems with sleep is very common, and when its short-term or for an easily identifiable and manageable reason, it shouldnt become a problem.
When were not easily able to improve our sleep and our sleeplessness begins to affect our daily lives, we need to take some action.
Having consistent sleeping problems more than around three nights a week of disturbed sleep for at least one month is referred to as insomnia, rather than a more simple temporary sleeping problem.
Insomnia lasting less than three months can be referred to as short-term insomnia. Sleeping problems that last longer than six months may be called long-term insomnia.
Over 15per cent of adults in Singapore experience insomnia at some point in their lives.
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What Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider About Insomnia
If you have insomnia, you may want to ask your healthcare provider:
- Am I taking any medications keeping me awake?
- What changes can I make to sleep better?
- How does cognitive behavioral therapy improve sleep?
- How do I find a therapist?
- Could I have other sleep disorders like sleep apnea?
If you’re suffering from insomnia, don’t hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider for help. They may offer tips for managing issues that interfere with your sleep. Many people with insomnia rest better after changing their diet, lifestyle and nighttime routines. Or they may also recommend medications or cognitive behavioral therapy.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/15/2020.