What is Insomnia?
Millions of people suffer from an inability to fall asleep or stay asleep. The condition may be related to anxiety, depression, chronic illness, poor sleep habits, lack of exercise or certain medications. Insomnia can affect people of all ages but is most common among teenagers and adults.
Untreated insomnia can sap your energy and mood along with your health, work performance and quality of life. Some adults experience short-term (acute) insomnia, which can last for days or weeks. This is often the result of stress or a traumatic experience. Some people have long-term (chronic) insomnia that lasts for months or years.
If you can’t sleep, you may be wondering if you have insomnia. Insomnia is a complicated condition.
What is the definition of insomnia?
According to guidelines from a physician group, insomnia is difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, even when a person has the chance to do so. People with insomnia can feel dissatisfied with their sleep and usually experience one or more of the following symptoms: fatigue, low energy, difficulty concentrating, mood disturbances, and decreased performance in work or at school.
How long does insomnia last?
Insomnia may be characterized based on its duration. Acute insomnia is brief and often happens because of life circumstances (for example, when you can’t fall asleep the night before an exam, or after receiving stressful or bad news). Many people may have experienced this type of passing sleep disruption, and it tends to resolve without any treatment.
Chronic insomnia is disrupted sleep that occurs at least three nights per week and lasts at least three months. Chronic insomnia disorders can have many causes. Changes in the environment, unhealthy sleep habits, shift work, other clinical disorders, and certain medications could lead to a long-term pattern of insufficient sleep. People with chronic insomnia may benefit from some form of treatment to help them get back to healthy sleep patterns. Chronic insomnia can be comorbid, meaning it is linked to another medical or psychiatric issue, although sometimes it’s difficult to understand this cause and effect relationship.
People with insomnia tend to have difficulty falling asleep (onset), staying asleep (maintenance), and/or they wake up too early in the morning. Treatment for insomnia can include behavioral, psychological, medical components or some combination thereof. You and your doctor will need to talk about your particular situation and history of insomnia, as well as its causes, to decide on the best treatment plan.
If you’re ready to finally get a good night’s sleep, give us a call!