A typical adult needs about eight hours of sleep to get through an entire day without feeling tired or restless. However, a variety of factors can hinder you from getting the quality of rest that you need which can result to unwanted errors at home and at work. In this article we discuss the symptoms of a common sleep disorder called insomnia and how it can be properly diagnosed by your doctor.
What is insomnia?
Insomnia is one of the most widespread sleep disorders worldwide. When you are having difficulty falling asleep during the night or you find yourself frequently waking up during odd hours then you may possibly have insomnia. This sleeping problem was the first psychosomatic disorder that was discovered in 1818 by Johann Heinroth. The condition is clinically described as a “subjective perception of dissatisfaction with the amount and/or quality of sleep.”
Having insomnia is both a symptom and a disorder in itself—this means that it can also be a result of another underlying medical condition. It is important that you consult a medical professional when you notice these common symptoms:
- Waking up too early
- Difficulty falling asleep at night
- Feeling drained after a night’s sleep
- Waking up during wee hours of the night
- Inability to focus during the day
- Constantly worrying about your sleeping habits
Who are at risk?
According to studies, there is an increased number of insomnia cases among adult women and is quite common in about 33-55% of the adult population. Those who have an existing psychiatric illness or comorbid medical condition are also at risk of having chronic insomnia. Other factors like your overall mental health, high levels of stress, and erratic work schedules may also affect your quality of sleep.
Your doctor may perform several tests to determine if you have insomnia or if an existing condition is causing you to have the condition. According to Mayo Clinic, a simple blood test can rule out thyroid problems and other illnesses that may be linked to poor quality of sleep. You may also be asked about your sleeping habits and your doctor may even suggest that you maintain a sleep diary to monitor your sleeping patterns. If the results are still unclear, your doctor may recommend that you spend a night at a sleep center to further monitor your condition.