5 Interesting Facts About Insomnia

Dr. Craig Hudson, MD | July 26, 2016

Living with insomnia is not easy especially when days and weeks go by without any reprieve. Even after reading all of the recommended books on insomnia completing countless internet searches, you might be missing a few of the hard facts.

Here are 5 interesting facts of about insomnia you might not have heard about:

1. Pills Are Not The Answer

Do you find yourself frequently reaching for sleeping pills? It might seem like a good idea after hours of staring at your bedroom ceiling, but in reality those sleeping pills may not be doing you much good. In fact, it is quite easy to overcome the artificial sleepiness triggered by medications. In instances where insomnia is a rare or temporary occurrence, pills may be mildly effective, but in cases where insomnia is a chronic issue, sleeping pills may actually do more harm than good.

2. Sleeping Disorders Can Be Inherited

In a study published by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, researchers found sufferers of insomnia also reported having a family history of insomnia and sleep disorders. The highest prevalence of insomnia occurred in those with first-degree relatives (like a parent or sibling) who also experienced insomnia.

3. Women Are More Likely To Experience Insomnia Over Men

Troubles falling asleep and staying asleep are more likely to impact women and it might have something to do with their hormones. Hormonal fluctuations throughout the month can have a negative impact on sleep health for women. A poll by Sleep in America revealed women’s sleeping issues also contributed to higher episodes of daytime sleepiness, weight gain and poor concentration as a result.


4. Insomnia Is Not Rare

It is often portrayed in TV shows and movies as a rare and temporary problem brought on by stress, but for many people, this is only partially true. An estimated 65 million Americans and about 1 in every 3 to 4 people experience insomnia. Those most effected by insomnia are also over the age of 65.

5. CBT Can Be Effective in Treating Insomnia

If your insomnia is a byproduct of mental health issues like anxiety and/or depression, CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) may be the best available treatment option to you. In this case, it is about treating the root cause, rather than the symptom.

CBT-1 is a variation of this style of therapy that deals directly with insomnia. Through CBT-I, you can learn strategies for coping with your insomnia and how to alter your lifestyle in a way that can beneficial for getting some shut eye.