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What are the Side Effects of Insomnia?

By Edited Feb 8, 2014 0 2

Insomnia is the condition where a person is unable to get a healthy amount of sleep. They can have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, as well as waking up too early. As a result, poor sleeping cycles will effect a person through the daytime. Insomnia is a very common sleeping disorder among adults, children and seniors. About 4 out of 10 adults suffer from insomnia around the world. Insomnia can last anywhere from as little as a day to as long as six months.

Insomnia Side Effects

  • Trouble falling asleep
  • Waking up early
  • Inability to focus and concentrate
  • Problems with memory
  • Impairment of motor functions
  • Overall clumsiness
  • Irritability
  • Lack of motivation
  • Headaches
  • Clinical depression
  • Anxiety disorders

Common side effects of insomnia are not feeling well rested when you wake up and tiredness throughout the day. It can cause an inability to focus and concentrate and cause you to be irritable towards others. Additionally, it may mess up your short term memory as well. Insomnia can impair your motor functions and reduce your ability to effectively perform ordinary daily tasks, and possibly increase clumsiness and make you more prone to accidents.

More serious side effects include developing chronic headaches and stomach aches.
There are two ways to classify insomnia – primary or secondary. Primary infers insomnia that is not a result of a separate medical condition, while secondary infers that there is an underlying medical problem that is causing insomnia.

Causes for primary insomnia are usually easy to identify and address. For example, jet lag can throw off your body's normal sleeping patterns and prevent you from falling asleep. The solution is just to allow some time for your body to adjust for a new location. Caffeine is a stimulant that will keep a person awake, which should simply be avoided if you are having trouble sleeping. More serious causes can increase the duration of insomnia, such as a death in the family. It may take several weeks for a person to finally cope with the grief. In cases like this, if the short term insomnia does not get treated, it can develop into chronic insomnia and lead to other adverse effects such as depression.

Causes of secondary insomnia are medical conditions such as asthma and chronic pain. Additionally, other sleeping disorders like restless legs syndrome can cause many problems throughout the night. And while it is possible for chronic insomnia to trigger depression, it is common for it to occur the other way around. In fact, chronic insomnia is often an indicator of clinical depression.

It is important that if you suffer from short term insomnia that you seek help immediately before it can develop more serious insomnia side effects.


Jul 15, 2010 5:51pm
I have secondary insomnia due to chronic pain and asthma. This is a good article that explains the differences between the two. Now, I wish there was an easy solution.
Sep 29, 2010 8:04pm
What a great article! Amazing job writing this, and you should definitely write a ton that are just as amazing as this one!
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