Sleep is essential to our physical and emotional well-being. Most everyone suffers from an occasional night of restless sleep.
However, ongoing sleep difficulties need to be addressed. Having a chronic illness can create additional challenges to experiencing a good night’s sleep.
Persistent symptoms, as well as medication side effects, can disrupt both sleep duration and quality. The additional stresses associated with managing a chronic illness may negatively impact our ability to sleep.
Emotional distress is notorious for impacting our capacity to obtain a good night’s sleep. In general, anxiety symptoms are associated with difficulty being able to fall asleep (i.e., sleep-onset insomnia). Symptoms of depression impair the ability to remain asleep throughout the night (i.e., sleep-termination insomnia).
Both the quantity, as well as quality, of sleep are impacted by chronic illness. Developing sleep problems only further multiplies the challenges of managing a chronic illness.
Feeling exhausted negatively impacts our ability to cope effectively with our daily challenges. Medication may be required to assist with falling asleep, or being able to stay asleep. It may be prescribed short-term, or on a longer basis.
Good sleep hygiene is essential for obtaining a good night’s sleep, whether or not you have a chronic illness. Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule makes a difference. If sleep difficulties persist, a formal sleep evaluation is often necessary to determine the reasons.