It's Time to Beat Insomnia by Talking About Insomniaby Martin Reed Patient Advocate
Many people keep their sleep problems to themselves and choose not to discuss it with others, even those closest to them.
After all, sleep is such a necessary process and generally comes easily to others. What would people think if they knew you were having problems doing something so basic? This type of insomnia sitgma comes from a hirtory of the condition being very misunderstood in the past. It was once believed to be a psychological problem or a sign that someone was a hypochondriac.
We know differently today.
Research has shown that are many reasons why individuals develop insomnia. It can enter someone’s life as a symptom of various health issues such as fibromyalgia or arthritis and/or it may develop as a side effect from certain medications.
Other causes of insomnia include things such as:
Poor sleep hygiene
Going through a major life change such as a change of career or menopause
Exercising too late in the day
Suffering from post traumatic stress disorder
Having an unregulated body clock due to working a third shift or swing shift
However, many insomniacs living with the condition feel misunderstood. You may not feel as though others comprehend what you endure - preeventing you from speaking about sleep symptoms. If you do open up about your sleeping problems and hear comments such as, “Just quit drinking caffeine late in the day” or, “Just make up your mind that you are going to sleep tonight” it can often be painful and frustrating.
If it were that easy to send insomnia packing, it would already be gone
In other cases, insomniacs internalize their sleeping issues and develop false ideas about them. For example; you may think that you are weak because you can’t sleep like everyone else, or you may feel shame because you can’t get a grip on insomnia by yourself, or you may think insomnia is a monster that will forever rob you of your life.
All of this negative thinking makes it easy to become even more withdrawn and feel even more isolated.
If insomnia is not seen as a pervasive health problem that needs attention, these false feelings can take root and exacerbate the insomnia, as well as lead to other issues such as depression, anxiety, a decline in physical health and relationships, and more.
If you are dealing with insomnia, it is time to come out of the closet. You are not alone. There is no more shame in saying you have insomnia than there is shame in having other health issues such as diabetes or asthma.
You don’t have to share what is going on with everyone in your life, but at least open up and share it with a physician or sleep specialist, or even start by getting comfotable enough to tell a friend. By doing so you will be joining the countless number of others who are seeking treatment and finally finding sleep again.