People with chronic insomnia are often stressed and tired but can’t sleep. Unless you’ve experienced it yourself, it may seem counterintuitive for someone to be completely exhausted but unable to sleep, but this is what distinguishes insomnia from other sleep disorders.
Conditions like insomnia and narcolepsy, or just regular sleep deprivation, cause excessive daytime sleepiness. People will nod off during normal daytime activities such as driving or sitting at a desk.
But with chronic insomnia, people can’t sleep – at least not long enough and not deep enough to allow their body and mind to function at 100%. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), insomnia is considered chronic if it occurs at least three times a week and persists for more than three months.
Common symptoms of insomnia, per the AASM, include:
Having trouble paying attention, concentrating, or remembering
Being irritable or moody
Having difficulties performing at school or work
Experiencing daytime sleepiness
Lacking energy or motivation
Making errors or having accidents
Being concerned or frustrated about your lack of sleep
Joe Dickison, 38, has battled insomnia since a family dispute in 2003. Dickison alternated between prescription drugs, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), psychotherapy, improved sleep hygiene, and gave up caffeine over the years—but sometimes still four hours a week . spent sleeping less than Yet Dickison was never sleepy during the day, just tired.
“People don’t understand it,” Dickison said. “I can’t sleep; I wish I could. I get tired and very tired, like going out to dinner with friends. Not because I’m afraid I’ll fall asleep, but because I Not being able to cope. Socializing and making extra effort.”
Personal relationships are often deeply affected when a person experiences chronic sleep deprivation. Rebecca Wiseman, 26, suffered from insomnia when she was pregnant with her second set of twins. Even after the children started sleeping soundly, the stay-at-home mom said she woke up most of the night.
“I’m tired and have a headache all the time, which my doctor says is because of my lack of sleep,” Wiseman said. “I don’t have the energy I used to have playing with my older girls, and it causes tension between me and my husband. We seem to argue about very silly things, like sweeping or doing laundry. are.”
Lack of sleep can take a toll physically and emotionally. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), not getting enough sleep is linked to many chronic health conditions, including depression, obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. That said, talk to your healthcare provider about sleep hygiene, medication, or therapy if you’re not sleeping as well as you should.