Sometimes, we're too busy to get enough sleep. Other times, we just can't fall asleep. That's what prompted a WFMY News 2 viewer to reach out to us:
"I've had insomnia all my life. If you could, please verify what the effects would be for an older person having insomnia. Thanks so much. Have a great day."
To verify this story, we dug into research from the Sleep Management Institute and the National Sleep Foundation.
First, insomnia is a symptom -- not a stand-alone diagnosis or disease. People who have it have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or they get up too early.
Anyone can get insomnia, but it is more prevalent among older adults. A National Sleep Foundation poll found 44% of older people have one or more nights of insomnia every week. Insomnia increases with age, because other medical problems increase with age.
There are many different causes of insomnia, and studies prove the most effective treatment is a combination of medical treatment -- like doctor-approved sedatives, plus non-medical treatment like avoiding TV before bed.
If left untreated, insomnia can affect your concentration, make you sleepier during the day and increase your risk of accidents and illness. Overall, it can significantly reduce your quality of life.
We verified insomnia does increase with age, and it can have numerous negative health effects if untreated. Consider consulting your primary care doctor ASAP, so you can get more quality shut-eye.