Insomnia is such a common condition, affecting millions of Americans, yet many people are not aware of the serious consequences of Insomnia. Commonly referred to as sleeplessness, or lack of sleep, insomnia can lead to severe fatigue, anxiety, depression and lack of concentration. Insomnia is serious, although unlike other diseases it does not kill. But only a sleep deprived person knows how lonely and how terrible this state can be.
Insomnia is a symptom, not a stand-alone diagnosis. By definition, insomnia is “difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep, or both.” Although most of us know what insomnia is and how we feel and perform after one or more sleepless nights, few seek medical advice. Many people remain unaware of the behavioral and medical options available to treat insomnia.
The Main Insomnia Causes
Worrying about money and paying your bills. Worrying over money is probably the single biggest cause of all known causes of insomnia. If you have a lot of money you may worry over losing it; if you have little money you may worry about how you are going to get more.
Thinking about or being stressed over work.
Experiencing hunger pains in the middle of the night.
Being too warm or too cold as a result of either too little or too much bed covering.
Poor sleep hygiene results in sleeplessness for some. Taking daytime naps, exercising close to bedtime, watching TV late into the night, eating within one to two hours of bedtime and irregular sleep/wake schedules make rest hard to come by. To challenge yourself, keep track of your last week’s bedtimes and awakening times. If there is no thread of consistency, you have a great place to begin. This is especially important for those of you working second and third shifts.
Many people with chronic health conditions also have problems with insomnia. In addition, advanced age and female gender, make individuals more likely to experience insomnia. The cause of chronic insomnia can be complex and often results from a combination of factors.
Excessive use of alocohol. While one glass of wine might help you go to sleep, getting “buzzed” or drunk can be counterproductive. Excessive drinking can cause interrupted sleep and a poor quality of sleep, not to mention the “hungover” feeling you might have the next day. The older you get, the harder it is to “bounce back” after a night of drinking and it could take 24 to 48 hours for your body to release the alcohol in your system.
All day couch potatos or people with a restricted lifestyle also suffer from bouts of insomia. This fact and other research has led sleep professionals to conclude that exercise is an important factor in your day time routine that can lead to sounder sleep at night. Likewise, people who take naps during the day, usually find it hard to get to sleep at night. As a consequence, they then go to bed late since they are not as tired. Not enough sleep at night can lead to fatique in the day time which can bring on the desire to take a nap – a cycle that might be hard for some people to break.