Insomnia is common sleep disorder. The features of insomnia include difficulty in falling and/or staying asleep. The symptoms of insomnia may be one or more of the following:
- Difficulty in falling asleep.
- Waking up frequently at night and then having trouble falling back to sleep.
- Waking up too early in the morning (even when you sleep late).
- Feeling tired upon waking in the morning.
Insomnia can be short-term (acute insomnia) or can last a long time (chronic insomnia). It can also occur because of various associated health problems such as asthma, depression, osteoarthritis, cancer, heartburn, pain, medication, or substance abuse like alcohol and drugs. This type of insomnia is also called secondary insomnia.
A person with insomnia may wonder if I will ever be able to sleep well at night, or how long is the problem going to last. Here are some facts, on how long, can insomnia last.
- Acute insomnia due to rapid travel across time zones (that is jet lag) usually lasts for a few days. You may be able to sleep well after your body gets adjusted in a few days. Taking sleep medications can help to improve symptoms rapidly.
- Short term insomnia such as insomnia caused due to stress (due to unemployment or an exam), depression, or some worry, usually lasts for a short time. Insomnia improves once the underlying cause goes away.
- Chronic insomnia (not due to any other associated disease) can be difficult to treat and may last for days, weeks or even months. Many people with insomnia do not seek treatment. This is a major cause for the persistence of symptoms.
- Chronic insomnia due to an underlying problem such as arthritis, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and chronic pain syndromes is affected by it. Improvement of the associated medical condition can improve the symptoms of insomnia.
- Insomnia that is secondary to a mental health disorder such as depression or anxiety can be difficult to treat. Appropriate treatment and improvement of the mental health disorder may improve insomnia.
If you have insomnia that lasts for more than a few days don’t ignore it. Insomnia should not be considered just a sleep problem as it can affect your overall health and well-being. Consult a doctor or a sleep specialist to diagnose the root cause of your insomnia. People with chronic insomnia usually need a detailed evaluation for proper diagnosis and treatment. Your doctor will evaluate you and then treat you based on the cause and severity of symptoms.
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