Insomnia refers to a medical condition where you have persistent problems falling and staying asleep. This can be a gradual issue which becomes worse over time, eventually leading to a total inability to sleep at night.
There are 2 kinds of insomnia – acute insomnia and chronic insomnia.
- Acute insomnia lasts from 1 night to a few weeks
- Chronic insomnia is when it happens at least 3 nights a week for 3 months or more
The main symptoms of insomnia
Trouble sleeping at night. The most glaring and obvious symptom of insomnia. If you have a persistent and constant problem falling asleep at night, it could be insomnia. You may take forever to fall asleep and sometimes may only sleep when you’re completely exhausted.
Waking up too early. You may find yourself waking up in the early hours of morning, even before the crows are active! Or you may find yourself waking up again and again during the night. If this happens repeatedly, you could be suffering from insomnia.
Difficulty in focusing. You may find it difficult to focus on work or tasks at hand during the day. You will also be forgetful or distracted throughout the day. While this is not one of the symptoms of insomnia on its own, if coupled with inability to sleep, this definitely is a red flag!
Painful mornings. Another one of the major symptoms of insomnia is feeling tired when you wake up. Rather than feeling well-rested, you feel tired and stiff throughout your body. If this is a recurring problem for you, do get yourself checked.
Daytime sleepiness. If you find yourself feeling sleepy during the day as a result of not sleeping at night, it could be one of the symptoms of insomnia. Post lunch is usually when the sleepiness and tiredness sets in. You may even find yourself feeling tired and lethargic during the day.
Being error prone. If you find yourself making silly mistakes through the day because you’re not sleeping properly, it could be insomnia. Absent-mindedness and forgetfulness in simple things such as losing your keys, the coffee going cold or errors at work are all common symptoms of insomnia.
If you’ve been facing these problems for a few weeks and the above symptoms resonate with you, see a doctor to identify the problem. It could be a sleep disorder, insomnia or something else that’s a problem. It’s best to meet a qualified expert.
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