Most people experience some tossing and turning at night at least a few times. But chronic insomnia can lead to serious health problems. If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, it’s important to understand how insomnia affects your health.
The Dangers of Chronic Insomnia
The CDC warns that chronic lack of sleep has reached epidemic proportions. It goes on to report that the issue is connected to a myriad of related health issues, including psychosis, depression, binge eating and drinking, heart disease, car accidents, increased risk of dementia, emotional outbursts and more.
How to Know if You’re Not Getting Enough Sleep
Most humans need an average of eight hours of sleep each night. If you’re getting less then you need, you’ll see signs. These signs include fatigue, irritability, brain fog, trouble staying awake the next day, inability to focus, chronic accidents and spills, irregular heartbeat, and more. If you suspect you’re not getting enough sleep, consider looking into the following possible culprits.
Sleep Deprivation Culprits
The following things may be at the core of why you’re not getting sufficient sleep. If any of them ring true, it’s worth it to your health to find a solution.
- You’re exposed to light during sleep. Even those pinpoint LED lights on devices can be enough to keep your brain awake at night. Turn off all devices and if they need to be charged, place them in another room.
- Your mind won’t shut off. Is your head full of ideas or thoughts when you’re trying to get to sleep? Look to your diet for the cause. Reduce sugar and alcohol intake before bedtime. These can prevent your brain from going into sleep mode.
- Your room is too hot or cold. The ideal sleeping temperature is 70 degrees or below. Use air conditioning or a heater to reach optimal sleeping temperatures.
- You’re up with worry or anxiety. In the middle of the night, worries can creep into the forefront of consciousness, keeping you awake. In these instances, turn on the light and write down a plan of action to take care of worries. This “brain dump” will ease your mind and help you get to sleep.
Insomnia isn’t just an inconvenience. It can sabotage your health if you let it.