Insomnia is the most prevalent of all sleep disorders. This is due in part to the general nature of the diagnosis. Difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, waking up too early, or feeling generally unrefreshed the next day all fall under the insomnia umbrella. Another reason why insomnia is so common is because sleep is easily disrupted by many things such as stress, illness, or even travel.
The importance of sleep cannot be overstated. In fact, the World Health Organization describes sleep as a basic human need. Without sleep, a person’s health, safety, quality of life, and performance become radically compromised. Decades ago, smoking cigarettes, overindulging in alcohol, driving without a seatbelt, and forgoing sunscreen were not only socially acceptable, but instead wryly celebrated as living life to the fullest.
While individual claims of “not needing sleep” or sleeping very little each night are still met with public approval, research now overwhelmingly demonstrates that insufficient sleep has drastic, negative impacts on health, safety, and human performance. Researchers have shown that enduring 24 hours without sleep, or a week of sleeping only four to five hours nightly, induces a physical, emotional, and cognitive impairment equivalent to a blood alcohol level of 0.1%.
Modern culture sets unrealistic expectations for 24/7 stimulation, propelled by artificial stimulants and never-ending access to technology and globalized social networks. Extremely long workdays create an unhealthy cycle that involves overindulging, sleeping in, and sedentary weekend activities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared insufficient sleep to be a public health epidemic.
A majority of people experiencing chronic insomnia can experience a normalization of sleep parameters through the use of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) suggests a new study.
Results indicate that 50 percent to 60 percent of participants with chronic sleep onset insomnia, sleep maintenance insomnia or both experienced remission of their primary sleep difficulty.