Are you routinely struggling to fall asleep each night? Even after a long, exhausting day?
Do you find yourself awake in the night and just can’t get back to sleep?
Do you worry about just the “thought” of going to bed each night?
Are sleeping pills longer doing the job?
Is your career or personal life suffering because of lack of sleep?
Want to learn more about insomnia?
Did you know?
According to Statistics Canada, about 40% of the population is living with a sleep disorder, insomnia being the most prevalent.
What is Insomnia?
Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder, affecting approximately 10% of adults chronically and 25% of adults acutely. This condition prevents you from getting enough sleep to feel rested and leaves you yawning all day.
Insomnia can take many forms. Some people have trouble falling asleep, which is defined as spending more than 20 to 30 minutes in bed before falling asleep. Others wake up frequently and cannot fall back to sleep. Insomnia can be acute (short term) or chronic (long term). Chronic insomnia can be diagnosed if your problem occurs at least three nights a week for at least three months.
Avoid Sleeping Pills
Sleeping pills may be helpful as a short-term treatment but research shows that there are better solutions. Moreover, individuals taking OTC medications may develop an addiction which can result in reduced alertness, fatigue, and depression.
At Apnea Health, we encourage the use of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) instead of sleeping pills. CBT aims to change the way you think about and approach sleep, and your habits of going to bed and getting to sleep.
This type of therapy can help you control or eliminate negative thoughts and worries that keep you awake, and helps you develop good sleep habits and avoid behaviors that keep you from sleeping well. With over 40% of Canadians suffering from poor sleep, there are plenty of marketing products and gimmicks around, but evidence proves that CBT is the only treatment which has consistently be shown to improve sleep in 80% of those who try it.
Sleep is just as important as good nutrition or exercising.
President of The World Sleep Society
Effects of Insomnia
During sleep our bodies produce a number of hormones including leptins: an appetite-controlling hormone. If we don’t get enough sleep our body will decrease the production of that hormone and therefore, we’re at greater risk to become overweight.
Blood pressure also decreases when we sleep but disorders such as insomnia or sleep apnea put more strain on the heart thus leading to hypertension. A 2015 statement from the American Heart Association found that short sleep duration was associated with a higher risk of hypertension and of coronary heart disease.
In a 2016 meta-analysis, insomnia was associated with a higher risk of depression. In a 2017 review, researchers found that several studies point to a link between sleep deprivation and more amyloid-beta protein accumulating in the brain; a key factor in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Although clinical trials haven’t yet proven that sleep deprivation causes dementia or Alzheimer’s, this might be one potential consequence of sleep disruption.
30-70% of patients who consult for insomnia have sleep apnea
There are many factors that can contribute to insomnia and some may be symptoms or side effects of another underlying problem.
- Breathing disorders: asthma or heart failure
- Psychological conditions such as financial or emotional stress, anxiety and depression
- Neurological disorders: Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease
- Pain conditions: arthritis and headache
- Gastrointestinal disorders: heartburn, GERD
- Substances, such as caffeine, tobacco or alchohol
- Sleep disorders: restless legs syndrome or sleep apnea
It’s this last cause which is by and large often the culprit. Studies report that between 30 and 70% of of insomnia patients also suffer from sleep apnea1.