WHAT IS INSOMNIA?
* Sleep disorders are conditions that prevent a person from getting restful sleep and, as a result, can cause daytime sleepiness and dysfunction
* Insomnia is one type of sleep disorder. Insomnia symptoms include:
- difficulty falling asleep
- waking up throughout the night
- waking up too early
- not getting a restful sleep; feeling tired upon waking up
- having at least one daytime problem such as fatigue; sleepiness; problems with mood, concentration;
* Insomnia varies in how long it lasts and how often it occurs. Insomnia can be short-term (acute) or can last a long time (chronic). Acute insomnia can last from one night to a few weeks. Insomnia is called chronic when a person has insomnia at least three nights a week for a month or longer.
* Insomnia can also come and go, with periods of time when a person has no sleep problems.
* Insomnia can occur by itself or can be associated with medical or psychiatric conditions.
HOW COMMON IS INSOMNIA?
- Sleep disorders are on the rise. It is estimated that 75% percent of American adults experience sleep disorder symptoms at least a few nights a week.
- 1 in 4 women has some insomnia symptoms.
- About 1 in 7 adults has chronic (long-term) insomnia.
- Insomnia affects up to 50% of patients with cancer. (O’Donnell 2004)
- In a large study at a public university, researchers found that 27% of students in the study were at risk for at least one sleep disorder. (Gaultney, 2010)
- Insomnia is common following exposure to trauma and can occur independently or as a feature of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). (Brown et. al. 2015)
- Research shows that the majority of refugees had moderate to severe insomnia. (Al-Smadi, 2019; Sankari, 2019)
THE IMPACT OF INSOMNIA ON YOUR HEALTH
- Chronic insomnia can affect your ability to do daily tasks like working, studying, or caring for yourself.
- Insomnia and subsequent sleep disturbances can lead to fatigue, mood disturbances, reduced memory, driving accidents, reduced cognitive ability, and lower quality of life. (Pilcher, 1997; Pizza, 2010; Ram, 2010; Schlarb, 2017)
- Not getting enough sleep is linked with many chronic diseases and conditions—such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and depression.
- Insufficient sleep is one reason why people from lower socio-economic status are at a higher risk for heart disease.
MINDFULNESS AND INSOMNIA
Scholarship suggests that mindfulness may fight insomnia and improve sleep. (Campo et. al. 2015; Irwin et. al. 2014; Irwin et. al. 2017; Ong and Sholtes, 2010; Ong et. al. 2014; Zhang et. al. 2015)
Mindfulness is paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally. (Thích Nhất Hạnh, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Kristin Neff)
“Mindfulness is when you are truly there, mind and body together. You breathe in and out mindfully, you bring your mind back to your body, and you are there. When your mind is there with your body, you are established in the present moment. Then you can recognize the many conditions of happiness that are in you and around you. ”(Thích Nhất Hạnh )
6-WEEK CLASS: MINDFULNESS FOR INSOMNIA
I offer a six-week class that will introduce you to mindfulness as a mental training practice that may help improve sleep. Practices in the workshop include body scan, awareness exercises, and mindful movement (Qi Gong). Weekly 90-minute classes.
In addition to having experiences with insomnia (sleep walking and sleep talking), I have studied, practiced, and taught a form of mindfulness for over twenty years. I also earned a doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley and a mindfulness facilitator certificate from the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior from the University of California, Los Angeles.