By: Dr. Michelle Marie Ned

Insomnia is relatively common in several individuals within the United States of America. The disorder is known to cause individuals lack of quality sleep practices, resulting in paramount health concerns. According to Colombo (2023), the average individual should receive approximately 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night. An individual with insomnia receives approximately one-third of the average amount of sleep per night (Colombo, 2023).

With ever-changing work schedules of practitioners in healthcare and emergency services, the COVID-19 pandemic, increased screen time and changes in nutrition, adequate sleep can easily become interrupted (National Sleep Foundation, 2022; Gradisar, Wolfson Harvey, Hale, Rosenberg, & Czeisler, 2013). Furthermore, this diagnosis can cause individuals to have heightened anxiety levels and emotional distress, stagnation in healthy weight management, lack of adequate nutrition, and increased susceptibility to allergies (The Sleep Disorder Center of Louisiana, 2023; Sleep Foundation, 2023).  Ultimately, these barriers can lead to faulty work practices, decreased productivity levels, increased substance use, and a decrease in physical activity.

Many may ask why sleep is essentially important to individuals. Regular sleep practices allow one to gain healthy cell reproduction, increased brain and body balance, healthier circadian rhythms, and less communicable diseases (Colombo, 2023). Unhealthy sleep practices place a serious damper on the health of individuals, including increased behavioral health and co-morbid disorders (i.e. Diabetes Mellitus Type 2, Major Depressive Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder). After some time, decreased sleep affects concentration, which can lead to extreme fatigue, resulting in serious automotive and motorcycle accidents (Colombo, 2023). Consequently, quality rest is important for the physical and behavioral health of individuals. Simple sleep hygiene practices can improve greater quality of life and revitalization.

There are several tips to improve insomnia. According to the Sleep Foundation (2023), the use of the following practices can help to improve the overall balance of an individual experiencing this disorder: Decrease screen time prior to bedtime, obtain a consistent diet, maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle, create a rest schedule, avoid illegal substances, alcohol and caffeine use, avoid napping throughout the day, and utilize the bed solely for sleep.

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Dr. Michelle Ned

an Integrated Behavioral Health Professional and owner of Visions Consulting Firm. She has 14 years of experience working in various capacities to provide mental health advocacy and consulting, content writing, higher education instruction, technology and project development, mentorship, and leadership. As a former higher education professor, Dr. Ned has experience providing instruction in various subjects, including social sciences and humanities. Dr. Ned lives in Lake Charles, Louisiana.