People with insomnia can’t fall asleep, stay asleep, or get enough restful slumber. Insomnia is a common sleep disorder. Over time, lack of sleep can lead to daytime sleepiness, mood changes, irritability, and anxiety.
What is Insomnia?
Insomnia is characterized by difficulty:
- Falling asleep initially
- Waking up during the night
- Waking earlier than desired
Causes of Insomnia
Many things can contribute to the development of insomnia including environmental, physiological, and psychological factors, including:
- Life stressors including your job, relationships, financial difficulties and more
- Unhealthy lifestyle and sleep habits
- Anxiety disorders, depression and/or other mental health problems
- Chronic diseases like cancer
- Chronic pain due to arthritis, fibromyalgia, or other conditions.
- Gastrointestinal disorders, such as heartburn
- Hormone fluctuations due to menstruation, menopause, thyroid disease or other issues
- Medications and other substances
- Neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease
- Other sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome
Apart from disrupted sleep, insomnia can lead to other issues, such as:
- Daytime fatigue or sleepiness
- Irritability, depression, or anxiety
- Gastrointestinal symptoms
- Low motivation or energy
- Poor concentration and focus
- A lack of coordination, leading to errors or accidents
- Worry or anxiety about sleeping
- Using medication or alcohol to fall asleep
- Tension headaches
- Difficulty socializing, working, or studying
The best approach can depend on the underlying cause and the type of insomnia, but some common options include counseling, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and medication.