Is Insomnia An Illness?


Have you ever felt the need for sleep you couldn’t because God knows why? Well, Insomnia is the culprit!

There have been debates going on about this alleged mental illness. Some say that Insomnia can be categorized as a mental illness while others disagree. We can feel gloomy, concerned, and agitated if we don’t get enough sleep. It’s no wonder, then, that the quality of our sleep has a significant impact on our physical and psychological well-being.

Mental Conditions and Insomnia

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Depression, Schizophrenia, and Anxiety are some reasons why some might feel Insomniac. Considering this, we can say a bidirectional relationship between Insomnia and Mental Illness.

The reason is that 90% of adults experience sleep problems when they’re depressed. 

Sleep issues can also generate a negative feedback loop, impeding healing from psychiatric conditions. People suffering from depression who chronic conditions such as Insomnia, for example, are less likely to react to psychotherapy. They’re also more likely to relapse than people who don’t have sleep issues.

What Do the Studies Say About Insomnia and Mental Illnesses?

To find out if Insomnia can be called a mental disorder, we will look at some of the research papers that address this issue. 

Before we dig deep into what the research says, let us address what we think of this issue as a whole. 

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Insomnia has been considered a risk factor for melancholy and clinical depression. In fact, persons who suffer from sleeplessness are twice as likely to experience depression as those who do not. We used to believe that sleeplessness was caused by depression, but now we know that the connection is more cyclical than direct.

Insomnia is a sign that somebody is on the verge of being depressed. We may be capable of preventing insomnia from hitting a patient if we control their depression or other mental problems.

Is The Relationship too Direct?

Various types of sleep disturbances can be affected by differences in natural sleeping habits. Sleep disturbances are highly prone to emerge in a variety of mental illnesses, as evidenced by various research. It’s a symbiotic relationship that makes treatment difficult, but not unattainable.

Insomnia x Sleep Disorders (A Statistical Analysis)

As we said earlier, Insomnia is one of the most common sleep disorders for someone suffering from mental illnesses. 

According to a study, around 40% of the participants with a mental illness had insomnia. The surprising thing about all this is that only 16.4% of the total population didn’t suffer from sleep disorders caused by insomnia. 

Insomnia and Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a serious psychological disorder in which patients have an aberrant perception of things. It frequently results in a mix of illusions, delusions, and very disorganized thoughts and behaviors that make it difficult to function on a daily basis. Sleep problems are found in as many as 80% of patients suffering from schizophrenia.

Insomnia and Bipolar Disorder

According to practicing doctors, most of the patients that come and say they have sleeping problems as they have bipolar disorder, it’s a definite red flag for them.

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Mental health experts have concluded that around 80 to 90% of the patients suffering from bipolar disorder have trouble sleeping. 

Many people who are having manic episodes do not believe they require sleep. They are unconcerned about this because they are stimulated and do not believe they require rest. That patient will experience a manic episode or a psychotic break sooner or later if the sleep issue is not treated properly.

Is There a Way To Treat Insomnia?

As we’ve concluded that Insomnia Can be categorized as a mental illness, treating one disease can improve symptoms of the other. 

Solution 1:

Insomnia, on the other hand, tends to continue until it is specifically targeted for treatments. In one study, 51% of those who recovered from depression after receiving psychiatric therapy or pharmaceuticals still suffered from Sleeping Disorders.

People with mental illnesses, such as psychological distress, are now being studied to see if treating insomnia improves their psychological health results.

Solution 2: Australian Research Trial

Recently, there was a research trial held by an Australian healthcare center that suggest some solutions as they published their results.

1149 participants were treated with Insomnia and as a result of that, their depression symptoms went away. It does suggest that treating one helps in treating the other. 

Final Thoughts

Participants who completed a cognitive behavior therapy-based insomnia intervention had a lower rate of depression symptoms than those who received health information that did not include any insomnia treatment elements.

Consult your doctor if you’re suffering from sleeplessness. They will most likely send you to someone expert and treat your sleeping disorder. They can determine how your sleeplessness interacts with any underlying mental health issues and customize your appropriate treatment.


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