awake woman in low light

Do you have trouble falling asleep? Do you wake up during the night and have trouble going back to sleep? Do you wake up too early in the morning? Do you often wake up feeling tired and unrefreshed? Read on because you might be suffering from insomnia.

Insomnia keeps you awake night after night which can lead to sleep deprivation. According to the National Sleep Foundation 48 percent Americans report insomnia occasionally, while 22 percent experience insomnia every or almost every night. It seems that it is more common to women (especially after menopause) and with the elderly.

Insomnia is may be a symptom of other sleeping disorders (such as sleep apnea, narcolepsy, restless legs syndrome) and may be caused by the following:

  • Advanced age (60 and above)
  • Anxiety, stress or depression
  • Poor sleeping habits
  • Misuse of caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, or dangerous drugs
  • Jet lag
  • Shift work
  • Environmental noise
  • Extreme temperature
  • Change in surrounding environment
  • Mental illness
  • Health problems (such as diabetes, anemia, arthritis, kidney disease, heart problems, asthma, Parkinson’s disease, and hyperthyroidism)
  • Medications (decongestants, antihistamines, betablockers)

Insomnia can vary in how long it lasts and how often it occurs. It may last for days (transient), from time to time (intermittent) or months (chronic). Transient and intermittent insomnia may not require treatment since episodes last only a few days at a time. Sometimes the use of short-acting sleeping pills may improve sleep and alertness for the next day.

There are many dangers and risks that insomnia exposes you to. It keeps you awake night after night which can lead to sleep deprivation. It can have a very serious impact on quality of life, productivity and safety, including impaired performance, irritability, lack of concentration, daytime drowsiness, less defenses against infections, significant mood swings, erratic behavior, hallucinations, at the extreme, even death.

So when you feel that you have inadequate or poor-quality sleep, consult with your health care provider which can recommend treatments which includes:

  • Diagnosing underlying medical or psychological problems
  • Identifying behaviors that may worsen insomnia
  • Using sleeping pills
  • Behavioral techniques such as relaxation therapy, sleep restriction or reconditioning.

Insomnia is highly treatable. Don’t let it ruin your health and lifestyle because of its annoying and fatal consequences. Besides you’ve got more important things to concentrate on like your work, school, family, friends, and loved ones.