Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that can make it hard to fall asleep, hard to stay asleep, or cause you to wake up too early and not be able to get back to sleep. You may still feel tired when you wake up. Insomnia can sap not only your energy level and mood but also your health, work performance and quality of life.
How much sleep is enough varies from person to person, but most adults need seven to eight hours a night.
At some point, many adults experience short-term (acute) insomnia, which lasts for days or weeks. It’s usually the result of stress or a traumatic event. But some people have long-term (chronic) insomnia that lasts for a month or more. Insomnia may be the primary problem, or it may be associated with other medical conditions or medications.
You don’t have to put up with sleepless nights. Simple changes in your daily habits can often help.
Insomnia symptoms may include:
• 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
• Increased errors or accidents
• Ongoing worries about sleep
Sleep is as important to your health as a healthy diet and regular physical activity. Whatever your reason for sleep loss, insomnia can affect you both mentally and physically. People with insomnia report a lower quality of life compared with people who are sleeping well.
Complications of insomnia may include:
• Lower performance on the job or at school
• Slowed reaction time while driving and a higher risk of accidents
• Mental health disorders, such as depression, an anxiety disorder or substance abuse
• Increased risk and severity of long-term diseases or conditions, such as high blood pressure and heart disease
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