Even a casual glance at the latest sleep statistics governmental health departments around the world highlight just how little sleep the global population is getting on a regular basis – and how devastating the impact of this sleeplessness is on their health and well-being.
According to researchers, one in every four adults over the age of 18 will develop insomnia – or at least show signs of insomnia – at some point over the next 12 months. 30% of adults will exhibit insomnia symptoms on an acute basis while 10% will have to suffer with chronic insomnia just seems to last and last.
In the United States, insomnia has been linked to a loss of production that cost the US economy $63 billion last year alone. Worse, 83% of those exhibiting stress-induced insomnia symptoms also report feelings of anxiety and depression.
We are dealing with a real epidemic here and it’s time to confront insomnia head-on.
Before you’re able to do that, though, you’ll need to better understand some of the more minor and severe insomnia symptoms that may present themselves. The inside information in this quick guide will help you figure out whether you are predisposed to insomnia issues without having to take a traditional insomnia symptoms test.
Let’s dig right in.
The Main Signs and Symptoms of Insomnia
If you want to figure out how to know if you have insomnia you’ll need to focus on the core details and common symptoms we touch on below. These are not all of the symptoms of insomnia that can manifest, though they are often the most reported as well as the most studied and understood.
If you’re dealing with any of these issues it’s important that you speak to your primary care physician, a medical expert, or a sleep therapist ASAP.
Trouble Falling Asleep at Night
The symptom most people look for when they ask themselves “do I have insomnia?” is this one, looking back at the previous week or couple of weeks and seeing just how tough a time they had falling asleep each night.
Trouble falling asleep every once in a while can be linked to other underlying issues (including stress, anxiety, and other medical conditions), but trouble falling asleep consistently – night in and night out – is almost always a sign and symptom of insomnia you’ll need to be on the lookout for.
Waking Up in the Middle of the Night
Another of the more common insomnia symptoms UK based individuals report regularly isn’t so much difficulty falling asleep as it is waking up in the middle of the night and then having an impossible time getting back to sleep.
Very often this symptom is closely linked to other stress-induced insomnia symptoms, including replaying past experiences (particularly negative experiences) on a loop, feeding anxiety and stress behaviors, and generally dealing with a very busy and active mind when you should be asleep.
Waking Up Too Early Every Morning
Individuals that wake up early in the morning are often thought of as very productive members of our society. But we aren’t talking about those “early birds” when we touch on this symptom.
Instead we are talking about individuals that wake up hours and hours earlier than they should, often times around 2 AM, 3 AM, or 4 AM when they don’t have to actually beat up to get the day going until 6 AM, 7 AM, or 8 AM.
This issue can cause a whole host of other secondary insomnia symptoms that create a real self-perpetuating cycle of sleeplessness that will wreak havoc on your health and well-being.
Not Feeling Rested After Waking Up
People waking up feeling more exhausted and worn out than when they went to bed the night before are often unaware of the fact that they are usually fighting with insomnia and other common sleep disorders.
Sometimes signs of insomnia can manifest as “micro-sleep” issues where the body goes through a constant rest, wake, rest, wake cycle – often without you even being consciously aware of it happening – that cripples your ability to naturally refresh your body and your mind every night.
Irritability, Depression, and Anxiety
Not only are irritability, depression, and anxiety often signs and symptoms of insomnia and other sleep disorders but they are usually triggers and root causes of insomnia as well.
Those that are irritable, depressed, or dealing with overwhelming stress and anxiety frequently have a tough time falling asleep. If they are able to fall asleep they usually find themselves waking up much sooner than expected. Once they are awake they have an almost impossible time falling back asleep.
These root causes often trigger insomnia behaviors, which in turn only fuel the irritability, depression, and the anxiety you are always contending with. The cycle viciously rinses and repeats over and over again, making things far worse, and really setting those fighting these issues up for failure.
At the end of the day, it is important to understand that while there is no “cure” for insomnia as of today (though there is a mountain of research happening around the world to discover this cure) there are treatment protocols you can use to fight back and to win restful sleep again.
Keeping and maintaining a consistent bedtime (as well as a consistent wake up time) – even on the weekends – will go a long way towards normalizing your sleep schedule. Staying active and challenging your body with physical activity can also reboot your sleep cycles and help you push through insomnia issues.
Behavioural changes, including lifestyle changes to your exercise and dietary habits, analyzing the medications you are taking (over-the-counter and prescription), and eliminating alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco can all be smart decisions to beat insomnia, too.
If you find yourself having a challenging time overcoming insomnia issues that may not be a bad idea to speak to medical professionals or sleep therapists about your concerns and the symptoms you have noticed.
These professionals will let you know how to best proceed, help you come up with a sleep cycle protocol designed to defeat insomnia, and should be able to give you more specific and detailed tips to win the war on this sleep disorder.