Why is Insomnia Harmful?

2 min readMar 30, 2023
Insomnia can happen to anyone

Insomnia is when you have sleep disturbances or you are sleep deprived or unable to sleep. Approximately 10% of the world’s population has insomnia which qualifies as a medical condition. Some are dangerous, some are not, and there are many ways — including medication and mental health options — to treat them.

Sleep problems can occur in the short term (acute) to long term (chronic). In addition, sleep is a state of unconsciousness that occurs naturally to allow the body to rest. During sleep, the body will go through a cycle that alternates between rapid eye movement sleep and non-rapid eye movement sleep.

A person will probably go through four or five sleep cycles in one night. One sleep cycle lasts for about 90 minutes. This cycle is preceded by four stages of non-REM sleep, consisting of light sleep to deep sleep. Then, followed by REM sleep and it is at this stage that the dream process occurs.

There are two types of insomnia. Primary insomnia, when you have sleep problems that are not directly related to another health condition or problem. The causes of this type of insomnia are not well understood. Life changes such as major distractions or long-term stress can trigger primary insomnia.

Most cases of insomnia are secondary, meaning you’re having trouble sleeping because of something else, such as a health condition (asthma, depression, heart failure, heartburn) or a side effect of a medication you’re taking.
Secondary insomnia can also be caused by pain from headaches or arthritis or substance use (alcohol). Other sleep disorders, such as restless legs syndrome, and menopause are also linked to insomnia.

Insomnia affects people of all ages but is more common in older adults and affects more women than men.
Lack of sleep can cause you to feel tired when you wake up or during the day.
Insomnia can make it hard to focus on tasks and can make you feel depressed and irritable.

Sleep is an important part of human health. Lack of quality sleep can have short-term and long-term effects. In the short term, sleep deprivation can affect judgment, mood, and memory. Insomnia can cause a foggy feeling and difficulty concentrating. You run the risk of injury at home, at work, and on the road.

Regular poor sleep puts you at risk for several serious medical conditions, including obesity, heart disease and diabetes.
Continuous sleep deprivation can cause high blood pressure (hypertension). Depression and mood disorders are also linked to sleep deprivation. Lack of sleep can weaken your immune system.

How to Treat Insomnia without Medication