Can’t sleep? Understanding Insomnia

Do you struggle to get to sleep no matter how tired you are? Or do you wake up in the middle of the night and lie awake for hours, anxiously watching the clock? Insomnia is a common problem that takes a toll on your energy, mood, health, and ability to function during the day. Chronic insomnia can even contribute to serious health problems. Simple changes to your lifestyle and daily habits can put a stop to sleepless nights.

Insomnia is the inability to get the amount of sleep you need to wake up feeling rested and refreshed. Because different people need different amounts of sleep, insomnia is defined by the quality of your sleep and how you feel after sleeping—not the number of hours you sleep or how quickly you doze off. Even if you’re spending eight hours a night in bed, if you feel drowsy and fatigued during the day, you may be experiencing insomnia.

Although insomnia is the most common sleep complaint, it is not a single sleep disorder. It’s more accurate to think of insomnia as a symptom of another problem, which differs from person to person. It could be something as simple as drinking too much caffeine during the day or a more complex issue like an underlying medical condition or feeling overloaded with responsibilities.

The good news is that most cases of insomnia can be cured with changes you can make on your own—without relying on sleep specialists or turning to prescription or over-the-counter sleeping pills.

Symptoms of insomnia:

-Difficulty falling asleep despite being tired

-Waking up frequently during the night

-Trouble getting back to sleep when awakened

-Exhausting sleep

-Relying on sleeping pills or alcohol to fall asleep

-Waking up too early in the morning

-Daytime drowsiness, fatigue, or irritability

-Difficulty concentrating during the day

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