'I'm Tired But I Can't Sleep'
The insomnia you're experiencing may be caused by a variety of factors. Sometimes a life event like a job loss or stress at home can contribute to sleepless nights. Depression or anxiety may also play a role in early morning awakenings. Certain medical conditions, as well as starting a new medication, might be factors related to disruptions in your sleep. It's also possible you are doing something that may be interfering with your sleep, such as drinking caffeinated products too close to bedtime. Since your sleep issues have been ongoing, you should visit your family physician before you experience physical and emotional tolls on your quality of life.
Symptoms of insomnia
Many people experience occasional sleepless nights, but when the problem extends for three weeks or more (and in your situation, two months) it's generally referred to as chronic insomnia. No matter what the length of time, symptoms of insomnia include the following:
Difficulty falling asleep
Difficulty staying asleep
Restless or poor quality of sleep
Early morning awakening with difficulty getting back to sleep
It's also important to know that insomnia is more common as we age, and affects women more often than men.
When you visit your doctor, he or she will try to determine the cause of your interrupted sleep. Consider the following questions:
When did the problem first occur?
Have you been ill lately?
Are you taking any new prescriptions or over-the-counter medications?
Are you taking any herbal or dietary supplements?
How much sleep do you usually get?
Do you snore?
Does your sleep schedule change?
Are you beginning to worry about your ability to sleep?
Additionally, your doctor may ask you to keep track of your sleeping patterns over a two-week period of time. This would include the time you went to sleep and woke up, whether it was a continuous sleep or interrupted (need to urinate, shortness of breath, restlessness), as well as how you felt upon awakening (tired, cranky, refreshed).
Common sleep disruptors
In general, the causes of sleep disruptors can be categorized as temporary situations, medical concerns, prmiary sleep disorders, or psychiatric concerns.