We’ve all made the empty promise of “one more episode and then sleep,” or “one more comment thread and then sleep,” only to look up at the clock hours later. There are many things that disrupt our sleep habits, and while it might be a minor nuisance for some, it’s a lasting concern for others. Insomnia can interrupt your quality of life if left unchecked.
Simply put, the disorder known as insomnia is an inability to fall asleep, or stay asleep. While some might be able to fall asleep, they might wake up throughout the night, or not sleep fully through the night.
Insomnia can be divided into two forms: primary and secondary. If you’re just struggling to get to sleep, but are healthy otherwise, you have primary insomnia. However, if you have a medical condition, like depression, arthritis, or you struggle with substance abuse and you cannot sleep, then you have secondary insomnia. The length of time that you suffer from insomnia also determines whether you have acute or chronic insomnia.
The Causes of Insomnia
There are a ton of factors behind your insomnia and for how long you experience it. For instance, your acute insomnia may be influenced by:
- Stress levels
- Major changes in your life
- Where you’re sleeping
- Medications and drugs
- Changes in your sleep cycle
If you have chronic insomnia, it might be because of:
- Chronic pain
- Intense and persistent stress
The Symptoms of Insomnia
If you’ve ever gone with a few nights of good sleep, it’s likely that you’re already familiar with many of the symptoms of insomnia, including:
- Struggling to fall asleep or stay asleep
- Feeling grouchy or coarse
- Concentrating is challenging
- You feel tired through the whole day
These feelings might linger with you throughout the day or they might be triggered by certain events or situations.
From day-to-day, you might manage your anxiety better or worse, depending on a variety of factors. This might shade your decision as to whether you should seek help for your anxiety. That said, if you feel any of the following, it’s best to seek treatment.
When You Should Seek Treatment for Insomnia
You might feel the effects of insomnia sooner than you realize. Not getting enough restful sleep can quickly keep you from living your life fully. If you feel that you’re struggling with your sleep habits and it’s affecting your life, it’s time to meet with a doctor.
Treatment Options for Insomnia
Some are fortunate to effectively treat their insomnia simply by changing their sleep habits or where they sleep. Putting away electronic devices or turning off the TV an hour before bed can help, as can putting up black-out curtains. For others, the use of medications is required to correct their sleep cycle.