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Some of the Long Term Effects of Chronic Insomnia

Chronic insomnia is described as being the long term inability to sleep adequately. Sufferers will usually experience this severe form of insomnia for three nights out of a week, and longer than one month. It is generally caused by stress, anxiety, depression and discomfort at night.

These are the symptoms associated with chronic insomnia:

  • Feeling overly tired during the day due to a lack of sufficient sleep;
  • Finding yourself extremely irritable. Snapping impatiently in situations that would not usually bother you so much;
  • Poor concentration - Even to the extent of nodding off while someone is talking;
  • Problems with memory - Forgetting simple things and not fully understanding why;
  • Tiredness in general. Going to bed early and being very tired but unable to fall asleep.

The effects insomnia can have on a person's life range from being difficult to manage, to just plain destructive. The end result of losing sleep can harm both your mental and physical health. Most effects tie in with each other and work negatively by making the situation worse e.g. sleeplessness will eventually make a person feel like a zombie. 

This will cause daytime napping, which will make it harder to sleep at night. Having a severe form of insomnia can negatively impact your work, family and social or love life. In therapy, it is a general rule of thumb that a person needs to have two of these three parts of life successfully handled in order to live a happy and fulfilled life. 

Having a long term problem with insomnia may start to filter into your working hours and become noticeable to colleagues. It can be very difficult to remain awake and alert during the day without the correct amount of sleep. 

chronic insomnia10The option of napping during lunch hour will seem very attractive but will become quite obvious every time it happens. At a low point, a sufferer of chronic insomnia could accidentally fall asleep during a meeting. Unless your boss knows you very well and is aware of your issues with sleep, you might be frowned upon for staying up too late or being out late at night. 

Being deprived of vital sleep results in a lack of coordination and concentration. This could be worrying to a person working in the construction industry or being employed as a laborer. Bad time keeping or sleeping past an alarm could also affect your social status.

It is hard for family members to cope with a person who is suffering from a severe form of insomnia, as they may not fully understand it. It is common for other people to insinuate that insomnia can be improved with more exercise, less stress or a new bed, etcetera. 

But this is not really the case for a long term sufferer. The irritable feeling that comes with poor sleep can be difficult to cope with when you have children in the house. You will be exhausted just listening to their high pitched screams and watching their abundance of energy, and there is a risk of losing your temper. 

This is not fair on children as they are generally oblivious to the symptoms of insomnia. Family time can feel like a chore if in a zombie like state. Other family members could feel like they are being ignored or not listened to if you are unable to focus on them.

chronic insomniaIt is very common for women to experience some type of insomnia, either mild or severe, during pregnancy. This can be a result of a hormone imbalance. Morning sickness, known medically as nausea gravidarum, is a well known side effect of pregnancy. 

However, this does not just happen in the morning and can disturb some women during the night as well. The sick feeling can be so bad that it makes it very difficult to sleep for a long period of time.

Negative Impact of Chronic Insomnia on Social Life

A severe form of insomnia can force a person to become an introvert or social recluse. Having the energy and enthusiasm to meet friends will become harder after each night with no sleep. It is much easier to sit at home waiting to fall asleep than to go out and being around others if you're feeling drowsy. 


The best route to take is to see a doctor and fix the problem that is disrupting your sleep, rather than living with it and feeling miserable, even though it might not seem to you like it would be worth the trouble.


chronic insomniaThe only way to properly cure chronic insomnia is to treat the medical condition that's causing it.  As many of the causes of this disorder are psychological, therapy is highly recommended. There are medications available and prescribed for depression, stress and anxiety but some of these - most notably Effexor - can worsen your sleep deprivation.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is mostly used to treat mild insomnia but can also be of great benefit to people with depression or other psychological disorders. The aim of CBT is to alter the way a person interprets thoughts and incoming stimuli. 

For example, if anxiety is a problem you have been struggling with for a long time and it's disturbing your sleep, you will learn how to get rid of your negative thoughts. Alternatively, if the psychological disorder is more severe, a longer and more in-depth form of therapy will be required over an extended period of time.

For other medical conditions or disorders affecting sleep, medication or treatment may be needed. It will depend completely on the condition itself whether or not medication for insomnia is sufficient or if a procedure is required. 

Even though the effects of insomnia sound daunting and unbearable, it is still possible to live a full life if you are diagnosed at an early stage and receive proper treatment. Go and see a medical professional if you are concerned about your sleep. Better today than tomorrow!

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