How to know if you have insomnia

Let's be honest - if you are lying in bed, in the middle of the night, experiencing difficulty falling asleep, and wondering if you have insomnia. Then it is very likely you have a sleep disorder of some kind.

Even a very minor sleep disorder can cause discomfort, disturb your work performance and affect your quality of life. So the best course of action is to

  1. determine if you have a sleep disorder (take our Sleep Quiz to find out if you have a sleep disorder today!), and
  2. (if you do believe you have a sleeping disorder) identify which exact sleep disorder you have.
how to know if you have insomnia

This is exactly what we are going to help you work through in this article. We will be helping you answer the following:

  • identify if you have a sleep problem,
  • what insomnia symptoms you may be exhibiting,
  • how to perform a self diagnosis for insomnia
  • evaluate whether your sleep habits causes insomnia

The first question we are going to tackle is symptoms and what are the signs you should be looking for.

How do I know if I have insomnia?

Insomnia may feel like a never-ending cycle of sleeplessness at night and extreme tiredness throughout the day. And if not treated, experiencing chronic insomnia over an extended period can lead to health problems, mental health and a big decline in quality of life. Fortunately there are some clear signs and tell-tale symptoms to help identify if insomnia is the cause for your sleep problems. Let's take a look at the common symptoms of insomnia.

Symptoms of Insomnia

If you are exhibiting at least three of the symptoms below, then it is likely that you have a degree of insomnia that can be affecting your mental health or well-being.

Difficulty Falling Asleep

Difficulty falling asleep at night is one of the symptoms that most associate with insomnia. Lying in bed at night willing your mind to shut off and sleep is one of the primary tell-tale signs you have insomnia.

Difficulty Staying Asleep

Insomnia symptoms can also include difficulty staying asleep at night. You may fall asleep easily enough when you go to bed. However, maintaining an uninterrupted slumber is difficult. The inability to stay asleep is another common symptom. And you may experience these sleep problems in the short term (few nights), to weeks or even three months!

Waking Up Too Early

Sleep insomnia may also be identified if you find yourself waking up too early in the morning. This symptom is somewhat related to the difficulty in staying asleep. However, with this symptom you find yourself waking up in the early hours, and unable to fall asleep.

Tiredness When You Wake

Another common symptom of insomnia is waking up feeling tired or like you didn't get a good nights sleep. Generally speaking, good sleep habits result in you waking up feeling refreshed

Daytime Tiredness

Feeling overly tired or having an overwhelming feeling that you need a rest during the day is another sign that you may be experiencing sleep insomnia. These feelings often result from disrupted sleep patterns or maybe a poor sleep schedule.

Irritability and Anxiety

People who experience insomnia often exhibit heightened irritability and are overly anxious. Therefore, if you notice things are aggravating you more than you usual, it may be due to a lack of sleep.

Can Chronic Insomnia be self diagnosed?

The good news is Yes! That is the entire point of our website. We are here to provide the tools for you to perform self-analysis on your sleeping habits, lifestyle and other factors that contribute to chronic insomnia. Check out our Do I have Sleep Insomnia Quiz. It is a simple test that only takes 5 minutes to answer a series of questions to help identify if you have sleep insomnia.

Can insomnia be cured?

can insomnia be cured

The short answer is YES. The good news is there are many solutions.

You will most likely have heard about the sleeping pills and over the counter medications available to the general public to resolve sleep problems. Sleeping pills, cognitive behavioral therapy and prescription drugs generally manipulate your biochemistry (the levels of hormones within your body and brain) to trick yourself into sleeping.

However, if you are a regular reader at Sleep Quizzz, you will know we are an advocate of non-invasive solutions.

Insomnia is one of the sleep disorders that can be easily resolved with a bit of investigating, some lifestyle adjustments and self-analysis (such as using a sleep diary). To improve sleep quality, we recommend looking at your sleep patterns, sleep hygiene and daily lifestyle. We will look into solutions to sleep insomnia in more detail later on in our insomnia sleep series.

What are the 3 types of insomnia?

Insomnia is can be classified according to its duration:

Acute Insomnia

Generally lasts for several weeks. Acute (or short term) insomnia is common and is generally due to experiencing stress or life events, such as starting a new job or dealing with a break up. People tend to recover naturally from acute insomnia with the dissipation of the stressful experience.

Transient Insomnia

Similar to acute insomnia, however it generally tends to last a few days to a week.

Chronic Insomnia

Involves having at least 3 nights of bad sleep a week over a period of more than a month. Chronic insomnia can be classified into primary insomnia, which is characterized by not being able to identify the underlying cause of insomnia, and secondary insomnia where there is an underlying cause such as a general health condition, anxiety, depression or sleep disorder.

Insomnia can also be classified by whether there is an underlying cause:

  • Primary - Where insomnia cannot be attributed to an existing medical, psychological or environmental cause.
  • Secondary - Where insomnia arises from a primary medical conditions, mental health disorders, health problems or condition. 

So where to now?

Now that you have identified that the sleep disorder causing you difficulty to fall asleep is insomnia, the next step in the process is to work out what are the causes.

In the next article in our sleep insomnia series we explore the common causes of sleep disorders and what people are doing in their day-to-day lives that lead to insomnia disrupting their sleep.

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The contents of Sleep Quizzz are for informational and educational purposes only. It is intended to be a tool for our readers to use for self-assessment. Nothing found on our website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
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