Insomnia is a common issue, affecting nearly one in three working-age adults and the elderly. Studies have indicated that insomnia ranks as the second most common reason for seeking medical advice, with a higher prevalence among women and an increased likelihood with advancing age. Insomnia can significantly impact various aspects of life, including work, health, and increase the risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease, stroke, as well as affect mood, memory, and concentration. It may even signal an underlying mental health issue.
Insomnia may stem from either physical or psychological factors
- Physical health issues may include conditions such as obstructive sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, or the side effects of certain medications, such as bronchodilators for asthma or diuretics.
- Psychological issues may include mood disorders like major depressive disorder, anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Stress or trauma can also contribute to insomnia.
Different causes can lead to different presentations of insomnia. Moreover, prolonged use of sleep medications can worsen insomnia over time and lead to dependence.
These four hallmark symptoms suggest that you may have insomnia
- Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
- Waking up in the middle of the night or too early in the morning.
- Restless, non-restorative sleep, and frequent awakenings.
- Morning fatigue, drowsiness, or daytime napping due to poor sleep quality.
If you notice these symptoms, which are affecting your daily life and well-being, see a psychiatrist is highly advisable for a comprehensive assessment and the appropriate treatment.
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