Insomnia's Impact

There are many reasons that despite having plenty of time in bed, you may not be getting enough quality time sleeping. Insomnia, sleep apnea, and severe snoring are a few of the major offenders when it comes to causes of sleep loss. Some people with insomnia have trouble falling asleep, trouble staying asleep, or trouble falling back to sleep after waking. Often, people with insomnia wake up without feeling refreshed. Additional symptoms can include daytime sleepiness, increased depression or anxiety, and difficulty focusing or concentrating.

Many things can impact how well you are able to sleep. Lifestyle triggers, like having an irregular sleep schedule, working night shift, not getting enough exercise, being sick, using electronic devices in bed, and getting bad news can all play a part in how you sleep. Some medical conditions such as anxiety, restless leg syndrome, thyroid disorders, or sleep apnea can also interrupt sleep patterns.

Insomnia can be acute or chronic. Acute insomnia lasts a short period and is generally brought on by stress or an extremely emotional response to an event, like not sleeping well the night before an exam or after getting bad news. Chronic insomnia lasts for a month or longer, and can be a symptom of another sleep disorder, or can be caused by other medical conditions, medications, or psychological disorders.

Over time, the lack of sleep caused by insomnia can lead to increased risk of heart disease, weight gain, diabetes, anxiety, and depression.

If insomnia persists for more than a few days, or occurs more than a few times a week, consult a health care provider.

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