Insomnia is a very common condition that has implications for physical and mental health, work productivity, relationships, parenting, and overall quality of life.
According to various estimates, about 10% of the US population, which is approximately 20 million adults, has problems falling asleep, with the ensuing daytime consequences. Insomnia entails excessive sleepiness and fatigue during the day, lack of attention and concentration. Somatic complaints are also frequent – constant headaches and pain in the neck.
The annual economic loss due to loss of productivity, absenteeism and workplace accidents due to poor night rest in the US is estimated at $31 billion. This means 11,3 lost days of work per worker. Despite these impressive costs, insomnia remains an obscure diagnosis that is often not taken seriously by sleep sufferers and physicians.
Why should you care about good sleep?
The consequences of insomnia may be wider than we think. For the elderly, public health recommends sedatives. Decreased physical and mental activity in older adults is closely associated with insomnia symptoms and can cause other illnesses such as major depression, dementia, and anhedonia.
Insomnia affects 60 to 90 percent of adults who have experienced severe stress and is a signal for action to prevent suicide, especially in combat survivors. Those suffering from sleep disorders are four times more likely to turn to psychologists with complaints of family strife and relationship problems. Interestingly, insomnia in women significantly worsens life with a spouse, while men suffering from this problem did not report conflicts.
Children suffer from parents’ poor sleep
Anxiety is caused by the relationship of adults with their offspring. Teenagers whose parents suffer from insomnia are more withdrawn and have behavioral problems. An extreme case is attention deficit disorder combined with hyperactivity, cravings for bad habits and depression.
Patients who sleep less than five hours a day have significantly worse reaction times. In the group of young people who did not sleep for 17 hours, labor productivity was at the level of an adult after drinking alcohol. The analysis showed that just 18 doses of sleeping pills per year for young people increases the risk of diseases by three times.
Mortality from heart disease – stroke or stroke – is 45 times more likely to occur in patients complaining of insomnia. Insufficient sleep quadruples the risk of contracting a cold and reduces resistance to other illnesses such as influenza, hepatitis, measles and rubella.