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4 Signs You May Have Insomnia

Alarm_ClockHow many hours of sleep did you get last night? Did you wake up feeling alert and well rested? 

The National Sleep Foundation reports that between 30% and 40% of American adults state they have had some symptoms of insomnia within the last 12 months. Insomnia is an inability to sleep well and not feel rested in the morning. The diagnosis of insomnia is given if sleep is disturbed for at least one month continuously and the person’s well- being is negatively impacted. Everybody experiences insomnia differently, but here are 4 common symptoms that may indicate you may be suffering from insomnia.

 

Difficulty Falling Asleep
It takes the average person around 10-15 minutes to fall asleep. If you find yourself tossing or turning for an extended period of time every night, even when you’re exhausted, you may want to talk to a sleep therapist. 

Difficulty Staying Asleep
Most people should sleep soundly through the night without interruption. You shouldn’t be waking up frequently mid-sleep in an environment without interruptions. This also includes waking up too early in the morning, and being unable to return back to sleep. 

Sleep is Not Restful
If you sleep through the night, but wake up completely unrested, this may also be a sign of insomnia and improper sleep patterns. This is typically marked by daytime fatigue, poor concentration, and increase in errors or accidents, or even headaches.

Mood Disruption
Insomnia symptoms can also mirror other psychological disorders. Irritability, moodiness, and worrying about sleep can be a sign of insomnia, and in extreme cases, even anxiety disorders and depression. Sleep is implicated in regulating mood in the brain, and chronic lack of sleep can greatly affect a person’s mental health. 

If any of the these above signs apply to you, especially if several of them do, you should speak to your local mental health clinic to get tested for insomnia. In general the treatment of insomnia focuses on determining the cause of the sleeping problem. Insomnia itself may be the symptom or it might be part of another medical or psychiatric condition.  For many people medication is a quick fix, however, it has been proven that the following non-medical treatment options are more effective in the long-term. 

Non- medical treatment options

• Cognitive behavioral therapy

• Improving “sleep hygiene”

• Using relaxation techniques

Regarding the question at the start of the article, the National Sleep Foundation states the average adult needs about 7-9 hours of sleep a day. Do you get enough sleep?

Rita Mueller MA.LLP, Certified Sleep Counselor at Birmingham Maple Clinic