How to Know if You Have Insomnia
“I can’t sleep at night. Do I have insomnia?” Sleeplessness can affect anyone and it can be a huge problem for your daily routine and quality of life.
According to the Sleep Health Foundation, as many as 1 in 3 adults in the country have at least mild insomnia, and about one-quarter of those experience persistent symptoms. And though most people struggle occasionally with getting enough rest, chronic insomnia can be much more difficult to manage.
Find out more about this sleep disorder and how to understand if it is causing the difficulty you experience.
Checklist of Signs and Symptoms for Insomnia
Insomnia is associated with trouble falling asleep and difficulty staying asleep. Here are some of the other symptoms often associated with the sleep disorder. Review the main warning signs and check off the symptoms which are affecting you.
- □ Problems falling asleep at night,
- □ Waking up multiple times during the night,
- □ Frequently waking up too early,
- □ Not feeling well-rested in the morning,
- □ Daytime fatigue or sleepiness,
- □ Mood swings, irritability, tendency toward depression or anxiety,
- □ Difficulty paying attention and focusing,
- □ Memory problems,
- □ Anxiety about bedtime.
What Can Cause Insomnia?
Insomnia does not necessarily have an underlying cause, but there is a long list of factors that may cause, or at least contribute to the sleep disorder.
Worrying about work, grades, money, or relationships can keep your mind racing at night and make it hard to fall asleep. Trauma and loss in your life can also disturb sleep patterns.
Changing time zones can affect your natural circadian rhythm and disrupt your sleep-wake cycle. Jet lag is usually a short-term problem, but sometimes symptoms persist and can lead to insomnia.
People who work long hours, irregular times, or on shifts can have sleep disturbances that are caused by their schedule.
When clinicians refer to sleep hygiene, we are talking about the habits related to rest. Having an irregular bedtime routine, a bedroom that is not conducive to sleep, or an inconsistent schedule can wreak havoc on your sleep patterns. Stimulants like caffeine and nicotine can also contribute to poor sleep.
Some health problems may contribute to sleeplessness. These include Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, menopause, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, and chronic pain. Mental health disorders, such as PTSD, depression, anxiety, bipolar, and obsessive-compulsive disorders.
Similarly, there are many prescription drugs that can interfere with your rest at night. Some examples include, SSRIs, opioids, and other pain pills, antidepressants, medication for thyroid issues, blood pressure, asthma, and heart disease. Some over-the-counter medicines, such as allergy and cold medicine, decongestants, and weight-loss pills can have this type of effect as well.
Sleep quality can change with age. Older adults tend to experience difficulty staying asleep and feel less rested when they awake. Along with age, changes in activity levels, hormones, medication, and overall health can make this tendency worse.
Insomnia Treatment Options
Sleeping pills are no longer the first treatment option recommended for insomniacs. Drug-free treatment options, namely cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBTi), has been shown to be more effective and more successful in the long-term.
Get more information: 10 Scientifically Proven Ways to Fall Asleep Faster.
It can be difficult to tell if you are experiencing a temporary disruption to your usual sleep patterns or if you have developed insomnia. Take our quiz to find out if you have symptoms of chronic, or moderate to severe insomnia.
The following test is based on the Insomnia Severity Index developed by Charles M. Morin, Ph.D., a prominent researcher in the field of sleep studies. This index is widely recognized in both clinical and observational settings as a way to assess the symptoms of insomnia and diagnose patients with the sleep disorder.
TAKE THE QUIZ: DO YOU HAVE INSOMNIA?
What Is Keep You Up at Night?
Are you having problems falling asleep? Do you find yourself waking up multiple times during the night? Contact Sleep Health Solutions of Ohio to request comprehensive sleep testing and begin recovering from the sleep disorder that is keeping you awake at night.