“Why write about insomnia?” is a question I’m often asked when I tell people about my book. “Do you have it yourself?”
“Since childhood,” I reply. But I might not have written a book about insomnia if I hadn’t read Andrew Solomon’s book, The Noonday Demon.
Think back, if you suffer from both depression and insomnia. Which came first?
For years, the thinking on the subject was that depression gave rise to sleep problems, but the story is different today. It looks more and more like chronic insomnia is a way station to depression.
“Is Abnormal Emotional Processing Behind Insomnia?”
This was the title of an article that caught my eye last June as I was flipping through stories on the web. I’ve always thought insomnia probably has something to do with the dysfunctional processing of emotion, so I read on.
I’ve had some excellent medical care over the years, but when it comes providing help for insomnia, many doctors are out to lunch. They grab hold of a single idea about insomnia—it’s due to poor sleep hygiene, it’s due to stress, or it’s due to psychic damage that needs to be sorted out—and treat insomniacs as if we’re all alike.
Short sleep—sometimes defined as sleeping less than 6 hours a night, and other times defined as sleeping less than 5—is associated with a higher risk of hypertension, obesity, and type 2 diabetes, investigators at Penn State Hershey have said. Some research has even shown there’s a link between short sleep and increased mortality.
Now a new study finds that short sleep also has effects on personality.