Top 10 Insomnia Symptoms
June 18, 2022

Top 10 Insomnia Symptoms

Insomnia is a serious condition that, if left untreated, can lead to other health conditions. Learn how to recognize the symptoms of this condition and how to adjust your sleep hours at night.

Do you feel cold or have headaches throughout the day after staying up late and getting insufficient sleep? Perhaps you find yourself nodding off in the middle of a work session or a classroom lecture? If you've been experiencing any of these for quite some time as a result of irregular sleep patterns, you might be exhibiting symptoms of insomnia. Read on and learn about the top 10 telltale signs of this common sleep disorder.

What is insomnia?

Insomnia is a sleep disorder that makes it difficult to fall or stay asleep, or both. People with insomnia may feel tired during the day and have difficulty concentrating. Insomnia can also contribute to other health issues, such as anxiety, depression and daytime fatigue.

Insomnia can be caused by a variety of factors, including stress, anxiety, poor lifestyle habits, medications and underlying medical conditions. Some people may have difficulty sleeping as a result of shift work or jet lag.

Treatment options for insomnia include behavioural therapy, relaxation techniques, keeping a sleep diary, prescription medications, and overhauling your lifestyle. In some cases, acute insomnia will resolve on its own without the need for treatment. However, untreated insomnia can lead to serious risks such as car accidents, job loss and relationship problems.

To find the best treatment for insomnia and improve your quality of sleep, it’s critical to first identify its symptoms. A sleep specialist can help you determine whether your poor sleep quality is due to insomnia or something else.

Common Symptoms of Insomnia

The symptoms of insomnia vary according to the type of insomnia a person has. Transient insomnia usually lasts one week and is caused by environmental factors such as moving to a new house or sleeping at a friend's house. A depressive disorder or other mental disorders, on the other hand, should not be overlooked as they are also contributors to this condition.

Acute insomnia is usually caused by an adjustment period, such as starting a new job, enrolling in university or studying for an exam. It usually lasts a month and goes away on its own when the stressor is removed. Chronic insomnia lasts longer than acute insomnia, usually three months, and it occurs at least three consecutive nights each week.

The following are the top ten symptoms that patients with insomnia typically experience:

  1. Difficulty falling asleep as a result of poor sleep hygiene
  2. Waking up frequently during the night, causing reduced hours of sleep
  3. Waking up early and not being able to fall back asleep resulting from the body's disrupted sleep rhythm
  4. Feeling exhausted during the day, which results in frequent daytime napping
  5. Concentration problems that interfere with work and school activities
  6. Irritability is not uncommon among patients with insomnia. If you find yourself feeling short-tempered or cranky, it could be a sign that you're not getting enough sleep.
  7. Headaches are another common symptom of insomnia. If you find yourself waking up with a headache or experiencing one during the day, it could be a sign that you need to increase your sleep.
  8. Anxiety caused by insomnia can result in problems with daytime functioning, such as difficulty concentrating, fatigue, irritability and restlessness.
  9. Feeling chilly is common in people with insomnia. This can be due to a number of factors, including your body temperature dropping at night (which is normal) and your body not being able to generate enough heat to compensate. Insomnia can also make you more sensitive to cold temperatures.
  10. If you are experiencing persistent insomnia, or any of these symptoms, speak with your doctor immediately so that any underlying medical conditions can be ruled out and you can begin the treatment of insomnia. A qualified lifestyle medicine practitioner can also recommend ways to help in the management of insomnia so that you can get more time in bed and the rest you need.

Dr Michelle Woolhouse

Integrative GP and Vively Medical Director

Dr Michelle Woolhouse is an integrative GP, with over 20 years experience treating chronic conditions through lifestyle medicine