Blame Santa! We lay in bed waiting: for the bells, hooves prancing, the Ho-Ho-Ho. Ever since then, we’ve been unable to sleep at night waiting for . . . Insomnia is a disorder which causes difficulty falling and/or staying asleep.
I guess more girls than boys waited in anticipation of Santa’s arrival. As adults, women have insomnia more than men. Men seem to put their heads down then they’re out. Nothing seems to prevent them from falling asleep.
Symptoms of Insomnia
One or more of the following symptoms can come and go:
- Difficulty falling asleep at night
- Waking up during the night
- Waking up too early
- Not feeling well-rested after a night’s sleep
- Daytime tiredness or sleepiness
- Irritability, depression or anxiety
- Difficulty paying attention, focusing on tasks or remembering
- Slowed reaction time
- Increased errors or accidents
- Ongoing worries about sleep
I suffer from chronic insomnia, and I can tell you there’s not much to do at 2:00 a.m. I’ve been to the 24-hour Walgreens many nights and just cruised up and down the aisles with other insomniacs. Lots to see there.
Insomnia and aging
Insomnia increases with age since our health and activity levels change. There are two types of Insomnia: Primary and Secondary.
Primary is not health related (trauma, stress, work/travel schedules, poor sleep habits, eating late at night.)
Secondary is related to medical conditions (illnesses, medications, mental health disorders, sleep disorders.)
*The following are considered additional causes Secondary Insomnia, but I personally believe they should be considered Primary Insomnia since partaking in them is not mandatory (as in medication.) Caffeinated drinks and nicotine products are stimulants which can interfere with sleep. Alcohol may help you fall asleep, but it prevents deeper stages of sleep and often causes awakening in the middle of the night.
Unresolved Insomnia can lead to:
- Mental health disorders
- Increased risk of long-term illnesses
- Stay active during the day
- Avoid naps
- Routine bedtime with electronics turned off
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