Symptoms of insomnia
The symptoms of insomnia vary greatly from individual to individual. All of the insomnia symptoms have one thing in common: they affect the quality of your sleep. A restful night of sleep is very important for a person to be operating at their full potential. Beyond the initial symptoms of insomnia are the secondary symptoms resulting from the lack of sleep insomnia invariably causes. Sleep deprivation can be a very serious condition that affects not only your health but can shorten your expected life span.
Primary symptoms of insomnia
The most common symptom of insomnia is trouble falling asleep. When people hear the word insomnia they almost always picture someone lying awake in bed, unable to fall asleep. If it takes you longer than 30 minutes to an hour to fall asleep, then you are probably suffering from insomnia. There are different estimates on how long it takes to fall asleep, but if it is taking you an hour that is too long.
Waking up after you have fallen asleep is another symptom of insomnia. If you don't have a trouble falling asleep, but seem to wake up multiple times during the night, you have one of the common symptoms of insomnia. This symptom can really be broken down into 2 different types: waking up multiple times during the night, and waking up and being unable to fall back asleep. They are very related insomnia symptoms, but it should be pointed out that they are distinct.
One of the least talked about symptoms of insomnia is waking up too early. If you set your alarm for 6 AM and are waking up at 3 in the morning consistently you probably have insomnia. This type of insomnia is known as terminal (or late) insomnia. While you may be able to get in quality sleep before you wake up early, if you are not getting the amount of sleep you need you will suffer from some of the secondary symptoms of insomnia.
Secondary symptoms of insomnia
Most secondary symptoms of insomnia can be equated to the symptoms of sleep deprivation. That is basically what people who have insomnia suffer from. All of the standard symptoms apply: feeling groggy, yawning, aching muscles, irritability (or other modified behaviors), and lethargy. Anyone who has experienced even one night without restful sleep can attest the the dramatic impact it has on the next day. Perhaps one of the most frightening symptoms of insomnia is the impairment of abilities that a person suffers with lack of sleep. Studies have shown that people who have significant sleep deprivation actually perform worse on driving tests than do people who register .05 blood alcohol content. It is estimated that over 100,000 traffic accidents each year in the U.S. are caused by lack of sleep. People who suffer from lack of sleep as a symptom of insomnia may also suffer from increased levels of stress, depression, and anxiety.
If you notice yourself exhibiting any of these symptoms of insomnia, you should consult your doctor and research possible treatment options.