What Is Insomnia?
Insomnia refers to a situation whereby you find it hard falling asleep or staying asleep for long. According to the infographic below, it’s a sleep disorder which affects 30 million people in the US.
People who suffer from insomnia often complain about some of the following problems:
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Difficulty to maintain sleep (they wake up several times at night)
- Early awakenings at dawn
- The sensation of not sleeping well
During the day, people with insomnia usually suffer from:
- Anxiety or depression
- Memory disorders or reduction of attention
- Irritability or nervousness
What Can Cause Insomnia?
There are many factors that can cause insomnia, including the following:
- Emotional or physical discomfort
- Psychiatric diseases such as anxiety and depression disorders
- Inadequate sleep hygiene (having naps, consuming caffeine and/or alcohol, intense physical activity before bedtime, irregular bedtime/getting up, staying in bed for many hours, chronic stress or doing intellectual activities before going to sleep)
- Chronic diseases that present pain or shortness of breath (rheumatic diseases, fibromyalgia, COPD, asthma, heart failure, gastroesophageal reflux, gastric/duodenal ulcer)
- Other sleep disorders (sleep apnea syndrome, restless legs syndrome, periodic movements of the legs, etc.)
- Bright light
- Extreme temperature
- Medications (stimulants, antidepressants, suppression of sedatives or hypnotics).
- Irregular sleep pattern, rotating work schedules
Is It a Common Problem?
- Among the elderly, around 30% to 60% suffer from insomnia.
- Between 10% and 15% of the global population suffer from it.
- 95% of the adult population has had an episode of transient insomnia in their lives.
- 10% of people suffer from chronic forms of insomnia (that lasts at least 6 months).
- Despite being a common problem, only 5% visit their doctor.
Who Is More at Risk of Insomnia?
- The divorced, widowed, and unemployed
- Those with digestive, rheumatic, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases
- The anxious and depressive
- The sedentary
- Those who lead a stressful lifestyle
- Those with irregular hours to go to bed and get up
- Those who consume alcohol before going to sleep
- Those who take caffeine
- Those exposed to environmental noise
Although it’s a well-known fact that technology can interfere with your ability to fall asleep, some great solutions for insomnia also come from the world of tech. Read more about them in the following infographic.