What is insomnia?
Insomnia is an experience of inadequate or poor quality sleep characterized by one or more of the following:
- difficulty falling asleep
- difficulty maintaining sleep
- waking up too early in the morning
- nonrefreshing sleep
Insomnia also involves daytime consequences such as:
- lack of energy
- difficulty concentrating
As many as one-third of patients seen in the primary care setting may experience occasional difficulties in sleeping, and 10 percent of those may have chronic sleep problems.
About 30 to 40 percent of adults indicate some level of insomnia within any given year, and about 10 percent to 15 percent indicate that the insomnia is chronic and/or severe. The prevalence of insomnia increases with age and is more common in women.
What are the types of insomnia?
- Primary insomnia: The sleep problem is not attributable to any other health condition.
- Secondary insomnia: The sleep problem is attributable to something else such as a disease or substance abuse.
- Insomnia may be classified as;
- Acute Insomnia: Periods of sleep difficulty lasting between one night and a few weeks are referred to as acute insomnia. Acute insomnia is often caused by emotional or physical discomfort. Sleeping at a time inconsistent with the daily biological rhythm, such as occurs with jet lag, also can cause acute insomnia.
- Chronic insomnia: Periods of sleep difficulty at least three nights per week for one month or more. Chronic insomnia can be caused by many different factors acting singly or in combination, and often occurs in conjunction with other health problems. This type of insomnia may be associated with medications or substance abuse.
What are the complications of insomnia?
The following have been noted to be associated with insomnia.
- Increased risk of mortality is associated with short sleep lengths.
- Insomnia is the best predictor of the future development of depression.
- Increased risk exists of developing anxiety, alcohol and drug use disorders, and nicotine dependence.
- Poor health and decreased activity occur.
- Onset of insomnia in older patients is related to decreased survival.
Is insomnia treatable?
At the SDTC, our team of doctors is able to treat all forms of insomnia, including those associated with substance abuse.