Yesterday, a sleep-related account that I follow on Instagram posted a series that got my attention. It was talking about insomnia and naming the criteria for it being a difficulty falling asleep. I kept clicking through, waiting for the second part of the definition. The next slide read something to the effect of If you lie in bed for a half an hour without falling asleep, you have insomnia. Um... really!? If anyone can be infuriated by criteria, it’s me, apparently. I can tell you why so many people struggle with insomnia! It starts with so-called sleep professionals posting incomplete information on the internet! Insomnia is not just difficulty falling asleep. If that were true, we would all have insomnia. Nobody suffers for decades, sees a handful of doctors, tries multiple medications and expensive sleep aids because it took them 30 minutes to fall asleep. It’s not about the time spent in bed not sleeping, it’s about the mental and emotional struggle while lying in bed without sleeping. This is SO IMPORTANT, because if the professionals we’re looking to for solutions don’t even understand what the full problem is, how on earth can they know how to help!? There are no side-effects of lying in bed for thirty minutes, especially if that's typical for you and doesn't bother you. It's normal to need time to fall asleep. But insomnia has a list of often crippling side effects, including: - not feeling well-rested in the morning - daytime sleepiness - irritability and moodiness - depression - general anxiety and anxiety about sleep - difficulty focusing on tasks - multiple wake-ups during the night If your sleep is negatively affecting your life in any way, please see a doctor. Ask to get a sleep test done. Feeling tired all day is not a normal part of life, and you deserve some answers.
My Book, The Calm & Cozy Book of Sleep has general sleep tips but was written specifically for people struggling with insomnia symptoms. I also have a free Facebook group that you can join to get help from me while you work through the book.
I’m here to support you and answer any of your questions. In the meantime, I’ll be over here sending angry messages to misinformed Instagram accounts on your behalf.