Insomnia is a sleeping disorder, that affects a lot of people, for some people, it is harder to get rid of or to handle and for some others, it is easier to get a grasp of in terms of knowing/learning how to deal with it, (that is called acute insomnia). Insomnia is something that happens so often that according to the Cleveland Clinic, approximately 50% of adults experience occasional insomnia, and only 1 in 10 people have reported having chronic insomnia.
Insomnia is a common sleeping disorder that makes it hard for you to fall asleep, it makes it hard for you to stay asleep or it makes you wake up too early and it makes it so that you are unable to go back to sleep. Insomnia makes it so that not only does it affect your sleeping habits but it in turn also has an effect on your whole life.
There are different levels of insomnia, they are categorised depending on how long they last, how it affects your sleep, and underlying causes.
Acute insomnia is short-term insomnia that can last from a few days to a few weeks, it is the most common out of the three main types of insomnia. Acute insomnia usually occurs when you are stressed out from something like a difference in an environment when you have a chaotic event coming up for when you have a deadline at school or at work.
Other things that acute insomnia can be caused by:
- Jet lag
- Certain medical conditions
- Sleeping in an unfamiliar bed or surrounding such as a new bed, a new house, or a hotel
- Physical discomfort
- Environmental factors that disrupt your sleep such as noise or light
Chronic insomnia is when you have insomnia for 3 days out of the week for at least a month. Chronic insomnia can either be primary or secondary, primary chronic insomnia is sometimes also called, idiopathic, this doesn’t have any obvious underlying issues or causes or underlying medical conditions. Secondary insomnia is called comorbid insomnia, this type of insomnia is more common, and this type of insomnia has that occurs with other conditions.
Some of the causes of chronic insomnia may be:
Caffeine and other stimulants, such as drugs, nicotine, and alcohol
Mental health conditions such as ADHD, anxiety, and depression
Chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, central sleep apnea, and hyperthyroidism
Lifestyle factors such as frequent traveling, napping, and rotation of shorts
Transient insomnia is a type of insomnia that does not last long, this type of insomnia only lasts a couple of days or a week. Transient insomnia usually occurs when there is some kind of disruption in your sleeping schedule or when there is an outside stressor, some of these may include:
- Jet lag
- Worries from school or work with things like deadlines or exams or important projects
- In illness that makes it difficult for you to breathe or that wakes you up during the night, like a fever or like having a blocked nose
- Having worries or issues about something where you start to overthink or can’t help but overthink, this can be caused by relationship problems, family problems, or just problems in general
Insomnia not only affects your sleep but it also takes a toll on your life, some issues that insomnia causes in your life is that it makes it harder for you to perform at your best, when you start to miss out on sleep, your levels of concentration and your ability to focus decreases, therefore meaning that you won't be able to work on your work properly at your best ability since there is something that is negatively affecting it.
Your sleep and mood are very closely connected, you may be able to tell from personal experience when you don’t get enough sleep then your mood drops, you start to get agitated more easily and you start to get annoyed over things you typically wouldn’t get annoyed about. This is because, there is a close relationship between sleep and mental health, having a mental health condition can make it harder for you to go to sleep, and if you aren’t getting enough hours of sleep or adequate sleep then this can have a negative impact of your mental health and your mood. Fortunately, with that logic, it would also mean that if you have adequate sleep and are able to rest well during the night then this will positively impact your mental health and your mood.
Mental health is something that is so important, we didn’t know the importance of mental health until more recent years, and now that we are aware of how important mental health is t is important for us to know what we can do to help us get better. Some ways that our mental health can affect our sleep, therefore making out mental health worse is
How can mental health affect your sleep?
- Depression and Seasonal Affective Depression (SAD): can make you sleep more, this may mean that they stay in bed for longer, however, depression can also cause insomnia, some people tend to sleep more than they should due to depression and some people tend to not be able to sleep due to depression.
- Mania: tends to cause you to have feelings of energy, so you tend to not get tired or feel the need to sleep thus causing you to have insomnia.
- Psychiatric medication(s): can cause side effects that can lead to insomnia, the medication can affect your sleep in more than one way, it may give you nightmares, it may cause you to have disturbed sleep and oversleeping may also be a side effect of the medication too.
- Anxiety: can lead you to have repetitive thoughts and worries that lead to overthinking therefore making it so that you are unable to fall asleep at night, with anxiety panic attacks are always a possibility, therefore having panic attacks is a possibility when you are trying to as well, so this may cause insomnia too.