Are You An ‘Insomniac’? Or Just An Occasionally Sleepless Maniac!

18 Apr 2021

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Adults and children alike have to face the scourge of sleeplessness. But is it a long term clinical problem, or is it just a short term issue?

What Is Insomnia And What Causes It?

An occasional restless/sleepless night is not insomnia. Rather, losing sleep for weeks on end, or the chronic inability to stay asleep is what distinguishes insomnia from the occasional troubles. No matter how tired, or how much they want to sleep, insomniacs have their cycles interrupted. 

Losing sleep for long nights or the inability to stay asleep is insomnia. No matter how much you want to sleep, something stops the process and you are stuck in that same loophole to sleep.

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Causes of insomnia are largely related to lifestyle choices or chronic diseases, such as [1]

  • Excessive caffeine, alcohol or tobacco consumption
  • Irregular work schedules
  • Lack of exercise
  • Extensive blue light emitting device usage (particularly late night browsing and binge watching)
  • Depression and anxiety 
  • Sleep apnea
  • If you consume excessive caffeine, alcohol, or tobacco you might be prone to having this disorder
  • Irregular work schedule
  • No exercise or physical workout
  • For this generation, using a computer, phone, or other devices right before bed has been a prime reason for insomnia
  • A person with depression or anxiety disorders have high chances of having insomnia
  • Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts
  • Pregnancy causes major hormonal change which battles the sleeping process too 

Insomniacs suffer the confluence of three key issues – difficulty falling asleep, poor sleep quality and difficulty staying asleep [2].

How Occasional Sleeplessness Is Different From Insomnia?

Do you find yourself often laying in bed, trying to fall asleep but getting preoccupied with other thoughts? Are you stressed?

These are probable causes of you not being able to sleep but in insomnia, you just can’t sleep, either because of lifestyle disorders or health disorders.

Insomnia is a longer term issue – while occasional stress can no doubt cause temporary sleep issues. 

The best way to identify in which category you are is to analyse your sleeping pattern. Insomnia can last ‘long, very long’ but occasional sleeplessness is ‘temporary.’

Symptoms of Insomnia {3}

  • Non-Restorative Sleep – you wake up feeling tired
  • Waking Early – insomniacs wake up at all hours
  • Can’t Stay Asleep
  • Difficulty Staying Asleep

Studies suggest that people with insomnia are highly creative but the disorder might have many disadvantages.  

You may have a depressed mood all the time, non-attentiveness, lack of concentration, mood disorders and poor memory.

Other physical symptoms include; fatigue, decreased energy and drive, headaches or tension, and gastrointestinal problems.

References: 

  1. https://www.sleep.org/insomnia-vs-occasional-sleeplessness/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK526136/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK19961/
  4. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/nutrition/food-and-drink-promote-good-nights-sleep

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