What is insomnia?
Insomnia is a sleep disorder that plagues up to 40% of people every year, and the leading cause is the state of our mental wellbeing. Essentially, insomnia is our mind’s retribution for suppressing the difficult feelings we experience during the day.
What Causes Insomnia?
Insomnia is a sleep disorder where we have trouble falling and staying asleep. We spend the night tossing and turning until it’s time to get up, then we feel tired and unsettled for the rest of the day. But more than keeping us from sleeping, insomnia is an alarm bell letting us know that something else is wrong.
Some guys suffer from acute insomnia, meaning we only experience it a few times a year, typically during times of increased life stress. Other guys have chronic insomnia where we have at least three sleepless nights per week for at least one month. It can have several causes, including medical issues, erratic work schedules, poor sleep habits, substance abuse or mental issues.
10 to 15% of people report having chronic insomnia. – Medical News Today
Are We Hardwired to Suffer from Insomnia?
Our ancestors slept at staggered times, ensuring someone was always awake to keep watch over the tribe and protect them from danger. It’s thought that people didn’t sleep longer than six hours and were awake at least two hours during the night.
Imagine the sense of security we’d feel today if we knew we had someone looking out for us…we’d sleep like a baby. But in modern society, we don’t. We’re left to our own devices to understand our feelings and figure out our problems. And if we don’t take the time to process what’s going on with ourselves and manage our stress, we’re not going to be sleeping very well.
The Impacts of Insomnia on Our Mind & Body
Whether we suffer from acute or chronic insomnia, the sleep deprivation it causes can drain our energy during the day, negatively impact our mood, and affect our performance at work and home.
We know when insomnia is a problem when we often feel irritable, anxious or depressed during the day; we have ongoing worries about sleep; experience increased errors and accidents at work; and have difficulty paying attention. Not getting enough sleep on a regular basis can lead to some serious health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and depression.
Men with chronic insomnia are four times more likely to die than men without insomnia. – Sleep Foundation
Common Myths About Treating Insomnia
Some guys think that insomnia isn’t a big deal and that it’ll resolve itself with some quick fixes. Here’s why some of those common “cures” are a bad idea:
- MYTH: Sleeping pills are an easy cure. FACT: While insomnia medications aim to help you sleep, they’re treating a symptom and are not a cure. Furthermore, medications designed to help you sleep could be addictive. Resolving any underlying medical, mental or lifestyle issues is the best solution.
- MYTH: Having a drink or toke before bed will help you sleep. FACT: Alcohol and weed impact your ability to reach stage three sleep (or deep sleep), which might make you feel sleepy and groggy in the morning.
- MYTH: You can just have a nap or catch up on sleep on the weekend. FACT: Naps don’t work for everyone. They might be refreshing from some, but for others it makes it difficult to fall asleep later on. Meanwhile, sleeping in on the weekends disrupts your body’s natural sleep clock. You need to get into a regular sleep schedule.
Insomnia Treatment: Learn How to Stay Awake in Life
Getting six to eight hours of quality sleep per night is one of the best things you can do for your body and mind, and the good news is that most insomnia cases are treatable.
If you’re experiencing trouble sleeping, you should first visit a doctor. Having a restful night is one of life’s greatest pleasures. It’s an opportunity to escape, reset, allow the body to repair itself, and dream (literally).
Once you’ve ruled out any medical issues, it’s time to work with one of our counsellors to investigate the root cause of your sleep problems, understand what’s really keeping you up at night, and teach you how to stay awake in life.