Insomnia is a pervasive problem in the United States. The number of people reporting loss of sleep has been increasing since 2001, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
Between 30 and 40 percent of adults report having occasional insomnia. Between 10 and 15 percent of Americans report having chronic insomnia all the time.
The symptoms associated with insomnia generally fall into one of these categories:
• Difficulty falling asleep
• Difficulty staying asleep (waking and having trouble returning to sleep)
• Waking up too early in the morning
• Unrefreshed sleep
Many symptoms associated with sleep deprivation can affect people during their waking hours and impact your daily cycles. These symptoms include:
• Low energy
• Difficulty concentrating
• Emotional or mood disturbances
• Inability to perform work or school related tasks
• Behavior problems, such as aggression
• Difficulty in personal relationships including family, friends and caregiver
Insomnia can be considered chronic or acute. Insomnia is considered chronic when it occurs at least three nights per week for at least three months or longer.
Acute insomnia can be caused by significant life stressors including changes in job status, death, divorce, moving or illness. Changes in normal sleep routines like jet lag or shift work can impact sleep as well. Acute sleep deprivation generally lasts less than six weeks.
Insomnia can be caused or made worse by anxiety or worry over daily life and issues revolving around daily life.
Environmental factors such as light, noise, or extreme temperatures in the sleep area can interfere with sleep.
Medication for colds, allergies or high blood pressures can have a negative impact.
Restless leg syndrome can keep you awake. It is sometimes caused by a deficiency of nutrients like magnesium.
Magnesium has been shown to help people with sleep disturbances. I use it for patients who have had problems both getting to sleep and staying asleep. When normal balance is restored, people seem to sleep better.