Insomnia is one of the best-known sleep disorders—and also one of the most misunderstood. In fact, contrary to popular belief, insomnia is not itself a sleep disorder, but instead is a symptom of another issue. If you are struggling with insomnia, talk to your doctor. A complete physical exam and overnight sleep test could be all that is standing between you and the rest you need. While you’re coping with insomnia, don’t let these myths keep you up at night.  

Myth: Insomnia is a sign of depression and anxiety.  

Insomnia can be an indicator of an underlying mental health issue, including depression or anxiety; however, these conditions are just a few of the many that can cause insomnia. Physical injury, illness, medication changes, dietary changes, and poor sleep hygiene can all contribute to insomnia. If you are struggling to sleep, don’t self-diagnose your restless nights. Get help as soon as possible to break the cycle of sleep loss.  

Myth: You must get eight hours of sleep per night to be healthy.  

One thing that people with insomnia frequently report is that the thought of being awake and not getting eight hours of sleep is itself a stressor that makes it even harder to get rest. In reality, eight hours is an average, not a rule. Some people can remain healthy and feel great on less than eight hours, while others need more. Listen to your body instead of causing yourself additional stress by trying to meet an arbitrary guideline that may not be right for you.  

Myth: Alcohol can help you sleep if you have insomnia. 

Alcohol has the opposite effect if you have insomnia. You may fall asleep quickly after a few drinks, but when your blood alcohol level begins to fall, you will wake up again and struggle to fall back asleep. Alcohol-disrupted sleep will make you feel groggy the next day and could reinforce the cycle of insomnia.  

If you’re dealing with insomnia in Central New Jersey, Sleep Dynamics is here to help you get back to getting the rest you need to feel your best. Get the answers to your questions about sleep testing for insomnia by calling (848) 217-0240.