Health Consequences of Long-Term Insomnia

Photo of author

By Jacob Maslow

Even after one night of sleeplessness, people feel the effects and how deeply they can impair work performance, functionality, and the way you related to others. Some people struggle with long-term, or chronic insomnia. With long-term insomnia patients have difficulty going to sleep or remaining asleep more then three nights every week over prolonged periods, lasting three or more months. Long-term insomnia, if left untreated, can have severe health consequences.

Symptoms of Insomnia

Insomnia is a common condition that affects most people at one point in their lives or another. Its symptoms may include any one or more of the following:

  • Difficulty going to sleep.
  • Waking up during night.
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness.
  • Extreme fatigue.
  • Failing to feel rested upon waking.
  • Waking before you need or want too.
  • Difficulty with memory, attention, or focus.
  • Increasing accidents or errors.
  • Impaired judgment.

While everyone experiences occasional bouts of insomnia, if your insomnia is beginning to affect job performance, school performance, or quality of life, you might want to take matters into your own hand before some of the detrimental health consequences chronic insomnia causes come into play.

What Causes Insomnia?

Because humans are all unique, there isn’t one specific reason people get insomnia though many find they are more likely to have insomnia when they are excited about an upcoming event, stressed out, traveling across multiple timelines, work differing shifts that disrupt their normal sleep routines, or essentially practicing poor sleep hygiene.

More problematic causes of insomnia may include some of the following:

  • Mental health disorders (either diagnosed or undiagnosed).
  • Medical conditions (also either diagnosed or undiagnosed).
  • Medications (prescribed, over-the-counter, or illicit).
  • Excessive caffeine, nicotine, or alcohol consumption.
  • Sleep disorders, such as shift work disorder.

For insomnia caused by certain medial or mental health conditions, it is essential to treat the underlying condition in order to get your insomnia under control.

What are the Health Consequences of Unchecked Insomnia?

While every person is different and every case of insomnia unique, common health problems that arise from long-term insomnia can be far reaching, such as:

  • Greater risks of obesity in adults and children.
  • Increased cardiovascular disease and hypertension risks (along with higher mortality rates from hypertensive and cardiac events).
  • Depression.
  • Anxiety.
  • Heightened risks of developing type 2 diabetes, metabolic disorder, or impaired glucose tolerances.

How Can You Get Relief for Insomnia?

According to Authority Reports, natural herbal remedies such as valerian root and lemon balm can help reduce stress and anxiety and promote calm so you can sleep better and longer.

Getting long-term insomnia under control sooner rather than later is your first line of defense for better health and greater quality of life.

Images Courtesy of DepositPhotos