3 Real Women With 3 Real Sleep Problems
We asked WebMD's sleep expert to help these tired ladies learn to get some shut-eye again.
Insomnia: Too stressed to sleep continued...
"My life was so busy I didn’t have time to focus on being tired,” says
Stewart of her early 30s. “But the exhaustion was always there. Most of the
time, I felt like I hadn’t been to bed at all."
After living with little to no sleep nightly for almost seven years, and
relying on soda and tea to revive her during the day, the fatigue finally took
over. She couldn’t do things spontaneously with her teenage daughter and son.
Instead, time with her kids was scheduled around her naps. The trickle-down
effect of her sleeplessness on her family turned into a flood. "My daughter
would ask me to go shopping, but I just couldn’t do it," says Stewart. "I’d
have to wait until I could nap for a little while to have the energy to just
walk through the mall. It was a horrible feeling."
In 2007, Stewart’s doctor sent her to the St. Thomas Health Services Center
for Sleep in Nashville, where she underwent an overnight sleep study. The
results were glaring: Stewart was waking up 12 or 13 times a night, and she
wasn’t getting the deep sleep she needed to feel refreshed and energized. She
Ever wonder what insomnia is? Simply put, it's a medical condition that
occurs when a person can't get the sleep she needs at night to feel rested
throughout the day because she can’t fall asleep, stay asleep, or sleep long
enough to make it count. Many Americans -- in a culture that thrives on busy
schedules and stress -- fall into this category. The National Center on Sleep
Disorders Research at NIH reports that 30% to 40% of adults say they have some
symptoms of insomnia within a given year, and 10% to 15% of adults say they
have chronic insomnia. For most of us, sleepless nights -- more frequent when
we’re stressed or anxious -- come and go. But if you notice that you're having
trouble falling asleep, returning to sleep, or sleeping until your normal
bedtime -- or if you're irritable or having trouble concentrating -- for
more than a few weeks, you might have a case of insomnia. Schedule a chat with
your doctor to find out.