For some, being unable to sleep at night is more than just an annoyance; if you regularly are sleep deprived due to insomnia, you may have insomnia sleeping disorder, a serious problem that can lead to health issues down the road as well as more immediate problems in your personal and professional life.
Insomnia sleeping disorder is not when you have a few nights you can not sleep for a little while that is transient insomnia, usually due to stress or illness. Even insomnia for a few months is not considered serious, particularly when you can identify the reason for your sleeping problems.
True insomnia sleeping disorder is diagnosed when you have long term problems falling asleep and staying asleep, to the point where you may hallucinate or micro sleep during the day.
In some cases, insomnia sleeping disorder is caused by an underlying mental illness; it is generally marked by some odd sleeping disorder such as severe nightmares, sleepwalking or other sleep behaviors, or talking in your sleep. In some of these the problem is mechanical in nature, a natural brain path disorder that does not allow all your bodily functions to be put into stasis when you go to sleep. In cases like this, treatment with prescription sleeping medications may be the only solution.
More often, insomnia sleeping disorder is caused by either stress in your life or by an underlying physical illness or disorder. Probably the most common cause of insomnia sleeping disorder is sleep apnea, a situation where you cease breathing when you sleep periodically and for as long as thirty seconds at a time.
With sleep apnea, you may think you have gotten your full eight hours of sleep, yet be groggy and tired the next morning; or you may wake frequently in the middle of the night for no apparent reason.
Underlying causes of sleep apnea include breathing disorders like asthma or emphysema, and obesity. If you snore a lot when you sleep, or if you find yourself struggling to breathe when you wake in the middle of the night, your doctor should test you for sleep apnea. It is a very treatable disease.
If instead your insomnia sleeping disorder is caused by stress, you need to look at your life and see what you can change. When you are so worried or stressed about things that you cannot sleep, you need to start simplifying, passing on duties, or finding ways to relieve financial stress.
Counseling is a good idea and if you try this, talk to your counselor about all your problems. He or she can probably recommend other professionals who can help with your life stresses: financial adviser for money problems, home care respite volunteers for elderly parents you are caring for, etc.
No matter what your insomnia sleeping disorder is coming from, you should address it as soon as possible. it may not seem so terrible to you, but insomnia and its effects can make your immune system weaker and less able to fight off illness, throw your body systems out of whack and allow pre-diabetes to develop into full blown, and kill you and other people if you micro sleep while driving. Repairing your sleep disorder now may save your life.