Did you know that lack of sleep can kill you faster than starvation? Did you know that in the US, twice as many people suffer from insomnia than eating disorders? 30 million Americans are suffering from eating disorders, while 60 million are struggling to get adequate sleep. Did you know that insomnia can be triggered by any number of life changes, even changing your shift at work?
Most people don’t know the facts about insomnia, and too many people are suffering from it.
Insomnia is simply defined as sleeplessness. This can include difficulty falling asleep, waking up during the night, and waking earlier than desired. Of course, everyone has the occasional sleepless night, but insomnia is something different. It is recurring and complicated. The effects of insomnia influence every aspect of our waking lives.
Acute insomnia can happen quickly and easily, but may only last a month or two. The first step is recognizing that sleep is eluding you. This can be made obvious by long hours lying awake at night, but a poor night’s sleep can also manifest itself in irritability, mood swings during the day, drowsiness, and lack of focus. This may be caused by brief periods of being awake or inability to enter into deep sleep.
Next, assess whether any life events may be associated with your possible condition. Episodes of increased stress - a time when we need sleep the most - can trigger insomnia. Some common causes of insomnia include shift changes at your job, a new baby, or too much screen time. Age, hormones, medications, and drugs can be involved as well.
Some of the factors leading to insomnia can be dealt with easily, like changing your eating habits or moving around your schedule. Most often these things address acute insomnia, or insomnia that isn’t necessarily long term. We'll have another post soon on chronic insomnia. Stay tuned!