The Effects of Chronic Insomnia

by Martin Reed Patient Advocate

Having chronic insomnia does more than just make you feel tired. It can change almost everything about your life, including your safety, quality of life and relationships, and your long-term health.

You should never just ignore insomnia.


The effects of chronic fatigue include being less alert and having motor skills that are slower than normal. People who suffer from chronic insomnia and drive are more likely to have auto accidents than well-rested drivers.

Driving while chronically fatigued has been compared to driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

It isn't just driving where your safety, and the safety of others, can be impacted by chronic insomnia. It can affect workplace safety, too. As many as 7 percent of all serious on-the-job accidents are said to be a result of fatigue or lack of sleep.

Quality of Life

In addition to safety concerns, chronic insomnia can greatly impact your day-to-day life, relationships, and even your finances.

It can promote and cause work absence, risk-taking behavior, poor decisions, irritability, depression, inability to concentrate and process information, memory problems, and it can lead to changes in sex drive.

Chronic insomnia doesn't just impact the person who has it. It can have a ripple effect onto everyone in that person's life.

You may find that you are too tired to do things you once enjoyed. Small things such as attending a child's sporting event or going out to dinner with your partner may seem like a feat. While you may know you want to do these things (and you should), the motivation and the energy to do so may not be there.

Health Issues

Chronic insomnia impacts the body. In addition to the obvious fatigue that is felt, it can be a contributing factor in many other conditions.

It can lead to poor eating and exercise habits. It can also contribute to high blood pressure, obesity, depression, infections, intestinal problems, general pain, and it can eventually contribute to early death by promoting the development of disease.

Studies have shown that insomnia and going with too little sleep has an impact on the thyroid and the body's stress hormones. These hormones affect your metabolism, heart, memory, immune system, and more.

When you have a disrupted sleep/wake cycle it can influence the development of disease - such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

If chronic insomnia is changing your life, it is advised that you schedule a physical with your physician. Your doctor can run tests to see if you have a health condition that is causing your chronic insomnia.

Your physician will also check your medications to see if you are being prescribed something that is contributing to your insomnia.

If you get the all-clear from your doctor and you are suffering from chronic insomnia, you do not have to suffer. It can be reversed.

Changes in your lifestyle, daily routine, and your sleep hygiene can help combat insomnia.

My online sleep training course for insomnia is free to join and it guides you through the simple lifestyle changes you can make to improve your sleep.

The first step in winning the insomnia battle is deciding that you are going to fight it.

Martin Reed
Meet Our Writer
Martin Reed

Martin is the creator of Insomnia Coach, an eight-week course that combines online sleep education with individual sleep coaching. His course helps clients improve their sleep so they can enjoy a better life with more energy and start each day feeling happy, healthy, rested, and refreshed. Martin also runs a free sleep training course that has helped over 5,000 insomniacs. He holds a master’s degree in health and wellness education and studied clinical sleep health at the University of Delaware.