Insomnia Facts and Statistics
Insomnia or sleeplessness is a real problem for many Americans. In total, 50-70 million US adults have what would be considered by traditional medical doctors as a “sleep disorder.” Insomnia is the most common one. Chronic insomnia is defined as insomnia that occurs at least 3nights a week and lasts for three months. 6-20% of Americans have chronic insomnia and 35% of those with chronic insomnia experience signs of depression or anxiety.
Insomnia Adversely Affects Your Health
Insomnia doesn’t just make you feel tired. It can adversely affect your health in different ways. One affect is an expanding waistline. When you don’t get enough sleep the hormones leptin and ghrelin become unbalanced which can cause overeating and weight gain. Too little sleep can also increase the risk of type II diabetes, mostly due to weight gain. Poor sleep has also been shown to make your body more resistant to insulin, which is the hormone that controls blood sugar levels.
High blood pressure and other risks for heart disease are also linked to insomnia. People who sleep poorly are more likely to be at risk for a heart attack or stroke. People with insomnia are also 10 times more likely to experience depression than those who are getting enough sleep. This can go both ways, with sleep loss making you feel depressed, and depression making it harder to go to sleep.
What you can do for Sleeplessness
If you have trouble sleeping or getting back to sleep, keep a sleep diary. This information can be valuable when you see your doctor, so he or she can come up with an appropriate plan to help. When we see patients with sleep troubles, we have a comprehensive list of things to go over before we come up with a good plan of action. Non-drug, lifestyle changes are often the most effective and safest methods to handle sleeplessness. Effective, nutritional supplements also exist to help patients fall asleep easier and stay asleep longer. We investigate safe options to help you get the sleep your body needs.
If you have trouble sleeping, we highly encourage you to make an appointment at IPM. We can help you achieve your health goals and get you back to balance!
Allan Sosin, MD
References: National Sleep Foundation, CDC, American Sleep Apnea Association, PNAS, American Journal of Epidemiology, Mayo Clinic, Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinics of North America, American College of Cardiology.