Insomnia

While it’s normal to experience ‘a bad night’s sleep’ once in a while, if it occurs regularly you may be among the 60 million Americans who suffer from insomnia. Deep sleep is what fuels our daily activities, and insomnia can starve your body of what it needs to sustain you during waking hours.

 

Although it’s different for everyone, common signs of insomnia may include:

• Lying awake for a long time (45 minutes or more) before you fall asleep

• Sleeping for only short periods

• Being awake for much of the night

• Feeling as if you haven't slept at all

• Waking up often during the night

• 6 or less hours of sleep per night, 3-4 times a week

 

 

Effects of insomnia may include:

• Decreased ability to focus

• Frequent tension headaches

• Feeling irritated most of the day

• Waking up tired instead of refreshed

• Daytime fatigue

• Gastrointestinal symptoms

• Irritability, anxiety or depression

• Continued worry about your sleep

 

Causes of insomnia may include:

• Stress or anxiety

• Depression

• Prescription medication, including sedatives

• Caffeine, cigarettes or alcohol

• Medical conditions or chronic pain

• Shift work that changes your sleep-wake cycles

• Late night heavy eating

 

If you think you may be suffering from insomnia or a related sleep disorder, see your doctor for advice on treatment. You may be referred to a sleep center for special testing and diagnostics.