When it comes to insomnia, people often associate the disorder with the inability to sleep. However, insomnia can make it difficult to fall asleep, stay asleep, or get back to sleep after waking. While you can experience bouts of short-term insomnia for days or weeks at a time, it can also become a chronic condition lasting for months or even longer.
Having a sleepless night here and there usually isn’t cause for concern, but ongoing issues can cause problems with your health, mood, and everyday life. This is even more true for women, who are twice as likely to experience insomnia than men, especially as they grow older. Unfortunately, one in four women suffers from insomnia symptoms.
At Compass Mental Health & Wellness in Houston, our team can help you end those sleepless nights so you can get the rest you need.
Signs of insomnia
There are no hard and fast rules on how much sleep you should get, but adults usually need at least seven hours each night. Without it, you can experience symptoms that affect your health, safety, mood, and relationships.
Common signs of insomnia include:
- Irritability, anxiety, or depression
- Increased mistakes and accidents
- Poor concentration and memory problems
- Daytime sleepiness
- Persistent worry over sleep
- Waking during the night or too early
- Problems falling asleep
You can develop insomnia for a variety of reasons, including stress, poor sleep habits, and eating too much in the evening. In women, other factors can also come into play.
Women and insomnia
For many women who have trouble sleeping, one of the primary culprits is hormones.
Hormones are closely connected to sleep. In fact, research shows that boys and girls have no differences in their sleep until puberty begins. At that point, adolescent girls and women start sleeping better at different times of the month due to fluctuations in their menstrual cycles — setting the perfect foundation for insomnia.
Common times for disrupted sleep from hormone changes include:
- The days leading up to your period
- The third trimester of pregnancy
- Perimenopause and menopause
Women also have a higher risk of insomnia because they’re more likely to have conditions associated with this sleep disorder, especially fibromyalgia, depression, and anxiety.
It’s important to note that insomnia makes you 10 times more likely to have depression and 17 times more likely to have anxiety. It’s unclear if these mental health conditions trigger insomnia or vice versa. But, either way, insufficient sleep can worsen your symptoms.
Reclaiming your sleep
Fortunately, there are numerous ways to address insomnia, so you can get the restful sleep you need. First, we’ll look for the underlying cause of your symptoms and review your sleep habits. In some cases, we may also recommend a comprehensive sleep analysis. Based on our findings, your treatment plan might include a combination of therapies, such as:
- Lifestyle changes
- Relaxation techniques
- Dietary changes
- Exercise recommendations
We’ll also work closely with you to identify any potential emotional issues that may be behind your sleep problems. In short, we’ll look at your entire being and help you get the rest you need.
To learn more about insomnia and how you can get help, book an appointment online or over the phone with Compass Mental Health & Wellness today.