Insomnia becomes a habit. It becomes something you do most nights. We get used to the cycle as it manifests its presence n our lives.
“I didn't sleep well last night” becomes a normal thing to say, so much so that you needn't bother mentioning it anymore to friends and family.
The nightly routine goes something like this…
- Think about going to bed for ages
- It's getting later, you're tired but thinking you probably won't be able to sleep as soon as you hit the pillow
- But you have to be up (as usual) so you go to bed
- You toss and turn
- You get lost in thoughts for a while
- You then become aware that an hour or more has past
- You become increasingly anxious
- You visit the toilet one, maybe twice
- You toss and turn some more
- Eventually you fall asleep sometime after it gets light outside
- You wake feeling unrefreshed the next day
..and so the cycle repeats.
Living with Insomnia
After living with insomnia for some time you do exactly that, learn to live with it. Your body copes with the lack of sleep, and while you feel lifeless most of the time, you just get on with it, mainly because it's possible to do so.
The fact is, very few people end up hospitalized with exhaustion due to habitual insomnia, some do, but most don't. Many of us fight insomnia by offsetting its effects through better diet and increasing exercise. And this can help. But it doesn't address the route of the problem.
The fundamental problem with insomnia, putting it in layman's terms, is that the body is constantly walking uphill. It's a daily struggle where the body has to work double as hard because it hasn't been given the rest it requires for regeneration. You may have learned to live with insomnia, accommodating its residence in your life.
But what's this doing to your body long term? Will it mean you die younger? Will it contribute to cardiovascular disease? Will it be a factor in the development of type 2 diabetes? The answer to these questions is, possibly, yes.
What the Body Does When You Sleep
During sleep many cells increase the production of proteins, the essential building blocks needed for cell growth and repair of damage from stress and ultraviolet rays. Numerous biochemical and physiological processes take place during sleep, which means sleep is essential to health and wellness.
Sleep is the time when the body secretes many important hormones that affect growth, regulate energy and control metabolic and endocrine functions. Sleep boosts the immune system and helps regulate appetite, insulin levels and blood pressure.
Sleep is as vital to a healthy existence as exercise and good diet. In short, sleep and health are intrinsically linked; one cannot be healthy without adequate sleep, and if you want to promote longevity and sustainable good health you need to break the cycle of insomnia.
To understand more about the links between sleep and health, and to learn more about the dangers associated with insomnia, download my free Insomnia Guide here.