Sleep Interrupted: When Insomnia Keeps You Up at Night

Even if you are not one of the estimated 60 million Americans affected by chronic sleeplessness, it is likely you have experienced times in your life when sleep was disrupted (or short-term insomnia.) Insomnia is one of the most common sleep disorders. For those who suffer, they have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or both. That means rarely having the opportunity for truly adequate sleep. Insomnia sufferers wake feeling tired and begin the cycle all over again the next night. Chronic insomnia takes a toll on personal relationships, work performance and most of all, health.

Symptoms are described as:

·         Waking up too early

·         Waking up during the night

·         Trouble falling asleep

·         Difficulty staying focused or remembering tasks or details

·         Feeling sleepy or tired during the day

·         Still feeling tired after a full night’s sleep

·         Irritability, depression and anxiety

·         More accidents or errors than usual

·         Headaches

·         Stomach aches

·         Constant worry about sleep

It can take more than 30 minutes to fall asleep and usually those who suffer from insomnia will get six or less hours of sleep each night. While health care providers recommend about seven to nine hours of sleep each night, any less adds up over time. Not only can sleep deprivation lead to more accidents, it also impairs our ability to concentrate during the day, consolidate memories at night (how we store away memories) and increases our risk of developing depression. However, foggy thinking is really only the beginning when it comes to insomnia and our overall health. Poor quality sleep can lead to weight gain, increase our risk of a heart attack or stroke and doubles our risk of death from all causes.

Learn more about what you can do if you suffer from insomnia at one of our free health seminars with Oklahoma Heart Institute sleep specialist Dr. Michael Newnam. “Insomnia: Why Can’t I Sleep?” will be held Tuesday, August 18 at 5:30 p.m. and Wednesday August 19 at 11:30 a.m. at the Wyndham Hotel Tulsa (10918 E. 41st St.) To RSVP, please call 918-579-6060 (ext. 1) or click here. Dr. Newnam will discuss how much sleep you need, how it affects your health, current medical treatments for insomnia, and non-drug therapies.