Insomnia may seem like a sleep disorder you can cope with, accepting your poor sleep as the norm. However, many people may not realize that insomnia is the reason for their low energy, poor outlook, and lack of concentration.
While the sleep disorder is characterized as trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, and/or experiencing sleep that isn’t refreshing, there are some other surprising signs you may not have noticed. Here’s what About Health says you should consider:
- You are anxious or depressed: Sleep deprivation has a huge impact on our mood during the day, leading to irritability, shorter patience and irrational feelings. Depression has been linked with early morning awakenings and difficulty returning to sleep. On the other hand, anxiety may leave your mind in shambles as worries wash over as you try to fall asleep.
- Naps are out of the question: Unfortunately, people with insomnia can’t enjoy naps, and often end up lying there with their eyes closed. Researchers say their higher level of arousal makes it easy to stay awake through the day, but it’s one of the reasons sleeping at night is such a challenge.
- You aren’t sleepy, just fatigued: Fatigue is characterized as a feeling of exhaustion, low energy and tiredness all the way down to the muscles and bones, without drowsiness. Sleepiness requires an effort to stay awake against heavy eyelids, which isn’t a symptom of fatigue. Knowing the difference can help you pinpoint what your true issue is with sleep.
- Racing thoughts are a common occurrence: Best described like a movie scene of rapidly firing images, insomniacs can have fast-paced images and thoughts take over their mind at night. While the topics are often unrelated, they can be related to personal, financial, professional stress.
- You are having suicidal thoughts: Insomnia has been linked to depression and an increased risk of suicide by numerous studies. Insufficient sleep impacts the frontal lobe of your brain, the area associated with making rational decisions and appropriate social interactions. With the frontal lobe impaired, it’s harder for an insomniac to avoiding thinking about taking their own life.
- Misperception on how long you’ve slept: Some people with insomnia may believe they’ve gone up to weeks at a time without sleep, which is identified as sleep state misperception. Those in this group actually sleeping, but are in the light stage of sleep so often that it’s mistaken as wakefulness.
Insomnia is a serious disorder that can drastically change the quality of your life, increasing your chances of developing a serious health condition, being a deadly accident and cutting your lifespan short. Speak with a sleep specialist today to get started collecting the benefits of rejuvenating snooze!