11 Reasons to Be Grateful for Insomnia

Martin Reed | Jan 31st 2017

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Living with insomnia and chronic sleep deprivation can be difficult, but it’s not all bad. Here are just a few of the benefits of prolonged wakefulness.

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Short sleep duration may be better than long sleep duration

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A number of studies have linked long sleep durations with negative health outcomes. In fact, one study found that those who got as little as five hours of sleep had the lowest overall mortality rates.

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Sleep deprivation may alleviate depression symptoms

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One study found that sleep deprivation had an anti-depressive effect in 40 to 60 percent of depressed patients. Although the effects were short-lived, other studies are finding long-term benefits when sleep deprivation is combined with light therapy and sleep-phase advancement.

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You get to speak your mind

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When you’re sleep deprived you may find yourself less willing to deal with office politics or tolerate those you find disagreeable. As a result, you may be more likely to speak your mind — and you get the added benefit of blaming your insomnia for any offense taken!

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You have more time to be productive

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Less time asleep means more time awake. This time can be used to get things done – particularly the more mundane tasks that you’d otherwise put off.

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Insomnia may make you more creative

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A well-rested brain is more analytical and tends to filter out distractions and illogical thoughts. Sleep deprived brains may unblock such filters, boosting creativity.

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You have more opportunity for self discovery

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Meditation and relaxation therapy is a popular natural treatment option for insomnia. Those who regularly practice such techniques may be more self-aware and have a better understanding of themselves.

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You have an excuse to treat yourself

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Studies have found that massage therapy may help combat insomnia — so consider that next appointment with the masseuse as a necessity, not an expensive luxury.

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You see the world in a unique way

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Not many people get to enjoy the peacefulness and solitude of the world at night. You are able to experience a unique part of your environment that many people miss out on.

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You're part of a special club

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Insomniacs often report feeling isolated and misunderstood. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Support groups for insomnia do exist. There are people out there who know exactly what you’re going through and want to offer support, advice and friendship.

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You have plenty of funny stories

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The grogginess associated with sleep deprivation can lead to amusing anecdotes. Like the time your neighbor caught you climbing a tree to get back into the house after you locked yourself out at 4 a.m., and you claimed you were rescuing your cat (even though you don’t have one).

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The upshot? Stay positive

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Living with insomnia can be a challenge. Focusing on the positives rather than dwelling on the negatives can help. In fact, the change of perspective might even improve your sleep!