Are you an insomniac?

Are you an insomniac?

The lasting effects of the pandemic include many people experiencing higher levels of anxiety and depression. If you’re suffering from insomnia, you’re not alone.

“Insomnia is something most people suffer from at least once in their lifetime,” says Dr. Yelena Tumashova, director of sleep medicine at Advocate Aurora Health. “However, due to the pandemic, insomnia levels are at an all-time high.”

Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that can make it hard to fall asleep, hard to stay asleep or cause you to wake up too early and not be able to return to sleep. Common causes of chronic insomnia are stress, a busy work schedule and poor sleeping and eating habits, all of which can take a toll.

Because sleep is a crucial element for every human to function, a lack of it has detrimental effects.

“We have seen how prevalent insomnia is during other crises, such as SARS or Ebola, and how insomnia can affect the lives of many,”  Dr. Tumashova says.

Here are some ways to evaluate if you are experiencing insomnia and how to cope with it:

Possible symptoms:

  • Difficulty falling asleep at night
  • Waking up during the night
  • Waking up too early
  • Not feeling well-rested after a night’s sleep
  • Daytime tiredness or sleepiness
  • Irritability, depression or anxiety

How to cope:

  • Reducing screen time before bed
  • Establish a regular, relaxing bedtime routine
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes per day most days of the week
  • Take a warm bath or shower before bed
  • Avoid or limit naps
  • Avoid or limit caffeine and alcohol
  • Avoid large meals and beverages before bed

“Approximately 50% of people with insomnia have underdiagnosed sleep apnea, and talking to their primary care doctor or sleep specialist is very important,” says Dr. Tumashova. “Insomnia is treatable, so don’t delay seeking care if lifestyle changes aren’t effective.”

Do you have trouble sleeping? Learn more about sleep apnea by taking a free online quiz. 

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Comments

One Comment

  1. Insomnia for me is a never ending nightmare. I have had it for a long time, medications have been tried, even melatonin. Presently take a prescribed med which works perfectly. First time in a long time I sleep a full 8 hours- .

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.