The busy modern life leaves us wanting for so much more. A little bit of sleep is the sacrifice most of us are willing to make to achieve our goals. What starts as a desperate ploy to get as much work done in a day as possible can quite quickly turn into a severe problem.
Nowadays, it’s hard to find someone who is getting the recommended amount of sleep. Many have jobs that require them to stay up late or wake up early in the morning. The constant fight against the clock to get the work done and get some quality sleep is why one-third of all the adults in the United States report having some sleeping disorder or insomnia.
What Is Insomnia?
Insomnia is among the most prevalent sleeping disorder. Characterized by lack of sleep or inability to sleep for long, this disorder can make a person tired and unable to perform their work efficiently. Those having insomnia don’t feel refreshed even after sleeping for the whole night.
The American Psychiatric Association or APA states that between six to ten percent of all the USA adults experience severe enough symptoms to get diagnosed with insomnia.
Doctors make a clinical diagnosis of this disorder based on the following factors:
- For how long the person is experiencing sleep difficulties: Usually, people with insomnia find it hard to get proper sleep at least three nights a week for three months before getting diagnosed.
- How disruptive the symptoms are for the person: Insomnia symptoms can create significant disruption in a person’s life and can cause distress.
People can be worried about their job, finances, family, relationships, and all this worrying cumulative into a disruption of normal functioning. The mind stays busy, focused on the possibility of an upcoming disaster, which results in sleepless nights.
Factors that also increase the chances of getting insomnia are as follows:
- Traumatic event
- Physical pain
- Jet lag
- Changes in sleep habits
- Sleeping at new places
Insomnia can manifest in many forms. Some might have difficulty falling asleep while others can sleep alright but have a hard time remain asleep. People with insomnia experience the following symptoms:
- Trouble falling asleep
- Inability to stay asleep throughout the night
- Waking up earlier than usual
- Daytime sleepiness
- Inability to concentrate
These symptoms do not inherently mean that you have insomnia. We can attribute most of these as a sign of some lifestyle changes. For instance, starting a new job at odd hours will affect your sleeping pattern.
The problem arises when these symptoms ligers on for more than a month without a discernible cause. It becomes necessary to consult an expert when you get in a situation where you always have trouble getting a good night’s sleep without any reasonable explanation.
The experts classified insomnia into different categories based on their causes and how they affect a person’s sleep. The following are the types of insomnia:
These are brief episodes of sleep trouble usually caused by a significant life event. The contributor to acute insomnia can include a job change, receiving bad news, travel, losing a loved one, etc. The symptoms of this type of insomnia generally resolve without requiring treatment.
It is a long-running problem that makes a person unable to sleep for three nights a week for three months or longer. Those with chronic insomnia can find it hard to fall or stay asleep during the night. Most of the people diagnosed with chronic insomnia tend to have a long history of sleep problems.
It is the type of sleeping disorder that occurs due to an underlying physical or mental health problem. People with anxiety and depression are among the most affected group with comorbid insomnia. Specific chronic pains can also result in this disorder.
People with onset insomnia find it hard to fall asleep at the beginning of the night. They tend to go to bed and stay awake for extended periods before they start to feel sleepy.
Maintenance insomnia makes a person wake up in the middle of the night for no reason. People with this condition also struggle to return to sleep after waking up.
What Are The Differences Between Sleep Deprivation And Insomnia?
Most people don’t realize, but insomnia and sleep deprivation are two different things. If you have insomnia, you have a sleep disorder that might require medical treatment. People with sleep deprivation need not seek medical help. Instead, they can ease their problem by changing their habits and sleep patterns.
Insomnia is the inability to sleep despite having no external obstacles that prevent you from sleeping. People with insomnia can lay in bed awake all night without knowing why they can’t fall asleep. Nobody chooses insomnia. It is something that happens due to factors not under the control of a person.
Sleep deprivation, in contrast, is a complete loss or reduction in sleep because of external factors. Some examples of these factors can be an overnight shift, college students studying all night for a test, etc. A person becomes sleep deprived if they continue to get less than eight hours of sleep for long periods.
Unlike insomnia, people choose, either consciously or subconsciously, to deprive themselves of sleep. It is essential to consider that these people do not enjoy getting less sleep; they do it because of their commitments. However, sleep-deprived people develop harmful sleeping patterns that, similar to people with insomnia, make them feel tired all the time.