The Signs and Symptoms of Insomnia

If you have been having difficulties sleeping, you may be experiencing a case of insomnia. This is a sleep disorder that has been characterized by issues falling and/or staying asleep through the night. Sleep is a crucial aspect of maintaining one’s health, and insomnia can easily start to disrupt your daily schedule and life.

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Now, you could be dealing with some form of sleep disorder, but that does not necessarily mean that you have insomnia. People who do have insomnia may experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty falling asleep during the night
  • Trouble staying asleep during the night
  • Waking up too early
  • Not feeling fully recovered after a night’s sleep
  • Fatigue or sleepiness during the day
  • Depression, anxiety, or irritability
  • Issues with focus or paying attention
  • More prone to accidents or errors
  • Tension headaches
  • Ongoing anxiety over sleep
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms

Typically, a person who is an insomniac will not be able to fall asleep in less than 30 minutes. When they do finally fall asleep, they’ll likely get six hours or less on most nights during the week.

Different Types of Insomnia

Health care professionals have identified two types of insomnia: Primary Insomnia and Secondary Insomnia.

  • Primary Insomnia: People who have this type of insomnia have sleep issues that are not actually the result of some other form of health condition or issue.
  • Secondary Insomnia: A person with this type of insomnia is struggling with sleep problems because they have some other underlying medical condition or other issue which is creating problems for them. Underlying medical conditions could be anything like depression, arthritis, heartburn, or chronic pain. They may also be taking medication that causes an issue, or it may be the result of some form of substance abuse.

Acute vs. Chronic Insomnia

Insomnia also varies in how long it lasts for and how often it affects a patient. In general, cases are classified as acute insomnia (short-term) or chronic insomnia (long-term). Other patients may experience periods of remission where they have no issues sleeping followed by periods where their symptoms return in full. A case of acute insomnia could last anywhere from one night to several weeks. If a person has been struggling with insomnia for at least three nights a week for a month or more, then this could be considered a chronic case of insomnia.

If your insomnia is making it difficult to function during the day, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor to determine what could be the underlying cause of your sleeping issues. Once this has been identified, your doctor can tell you how it can be treated. If your doctor believes that you might have a sleep disorder, he/she might recommend visiting a sleep center for special testing.

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