Shedding light on sleepless nights

June may boast the shortest nights of the year, but for those experiencing chronic insomnia, every night feels like an eternity. This sleep disorder affects millions worldwide, prompting the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and the Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine (SBSM) to designate June 21 as Insomnia Awareness Night.

Understand the significance of chronic insomnia, its impact on health and daily life, and the most effective treatment available.

The ripple effect on health

Chronic insomnia goes beyond the occasional sleepless night. It involves persistent difficulties in falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up earlier than desired, regardless of the time spent in bed.

People experiencing chronic insomnia may have a range of symptoms, including daytime fatigue, concentration issues, irritability, dissatisfaction with sleep, and low energy.

Research suggests that chronic insomnia increases the risk of mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. Additionally, impaired sleep has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease, while recent studies indicate a 28% higher likelihood of developing Type 2 diabetes among those with insomnia. The toll on work and school performance is also significant, with insomnia-associated accidents, errors, and decreased productivity costing the US over $100 billion annually.

Insomnia: An uninvited guest that stays too long

Chronic insomnia is not a fleeting condition; it persists for at least three nights a week over a span of three months. Its lasting impact on physical and mental well-being demands attention and treatment. Ignoring chronic insomnia can lead to long-term health issues and a compromised quality of life.

The gold standard of insomnia treatment

Thankfully, there is hope for those experiencing chronic insomnia. Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) stands as the gold standard in treatment. CBT-I combines behavioral strategies, such as establishing a consistent sleep schedule and leaving the bed when sleep proves elusive, with cognitive strategies that challenge negative thoughts about sleep. This holistic approach is tailored to each person’s specific needs and symptoms.

Shining a spotlight on insomnia

With June’s Insomnia Awareness Night, the AASM and SBSM aim to shed light on this sleep disorder.

The AASM social media accounts shared facts, stats, and videos throughout the night.

If you or someone you know is experiencing chronic insomnia, seek support from a health care professional. Remember, a good night’s sleep is not a luxury; it’s a necessity for a vibrant, fulfilling existence.

Since 2014, Insomnia Awareness Night has been held nationally to provide education and support for those living with chronic insomnia. Learn more about Insomnia Awareness Night or find an AASM-accredited member sleep center in your area.

Authored by: Kate Robards

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