Today’s blog is a transcript of an interview I did last year with Tami Patzer of Blue Ocean Authority and Beyond the Bestseller. Insomnia (and its many consequences) is such an important topic, and affects so very many people these days. Thankfully, there is a profoundly healing new solution that can help. Here, then, is our discussion on insomnia:
TP (Tami Patzer): Today, Krista and I are going to talk more about insomnia and the Trivedi Effect®. Welcome, Krista.
KC (Krista Callas): Thank You, Tammy. It’s a thrill to be here. Thank you for having me back.
TP: Well, this is pretty exciting because last time we talked about the Trivedi Effect® and what the Trivedi Effect® is, but we really didn’t get an opportunity to dig deeper into more specifics. Many people have talked about the Trivedi Effect® and how it helps them sleep better. It seems like something so simple but tell me more about insomnia and how many people it really does affect.
KC: Sure. According to the CDC insomnia is characterized by an inability to initiate or maintain sleep, which was actually new information for me when I started reading about it because everybody thinks of insomnia as you just can’t fall asleep at night. However, if you wake up at two o’clock in the morning or three o’clock in the morning and you can’t fall back asleep, that’s also under the umbrella of insomnia. 50 to 70 million adults are struggling with some form of sleep disorder, whether it’s insomnia or sleep apnea or restless leg, but it translates to just over 20% of the population so we’re talking about one in five people, so this is huge. Also, sleep issues dovetail with so many other things, like chronic pain or diseases like cancer or any kind of long term issue diseases: diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s — anybody struggling with chronic pain.
There’s a number of causes of insomnia and one of the main ones is just simple stress — or not so simple stress — depending on what your situation is. Having an unpredictable work schedule can really put you at risk, I think, in particular healthcare professionals who are working very long hours, transportation workers, and warehouse workers with split shifts. Oh my gosh, when I first met my husband he was working a split shift at Airborne Express so he was out on the tarmac loading the planes, and he worked from 3:00 a.m. till 8 a.m. and then again from 4:00 p.m. to 9 p.m. and I tell you, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a human being so exhausted and still functioning.
TP: I just can imagine that because I remember I worked briefly in newspapers. I’ve been in newspapers a long time but I always worked day shift, you know, 9:00 to 5:00 or whatever, and when I changed jobs I actually was supposed to work an afternoon to 11:00 shift so I had to leave my house at noon to drive an hour and a half to get there and then I started work and I was supposed to leave at 11:00 but of course I never got to leave at 11:00 because of the lottery, so I had to wait until the lottery numbers came out so I wouldn’t leave until about midnight. Then I had to drive an hour and a half home and then I get home around 2:30 and of course I’d be like you know all amped up because I’ve been working and I’d watched an hour of TV and then I sleep until about 7:00 when I had to get up because I had children in high school. I tried to take a nap and I literally was just not functioning hardly at all because I was not getting that solid amount of sleep I needed. I remember being kind of stressed a lot and I got a little paranoid. I just couldn’t function at a high capacity and I hated that job more than anything because it just disrupted my natural rhythms. I’m naturally an early morning person and if I go to bed at a normal time then I can use my brain very much so I imagine it affects your your brain a lot and also if you’re tired you end up either eating too much or maybe you drink too much caffeine or some people go the other direction and drink alcohol to calm themselves down. I imagine not having enough sleep can really harm people.
One of the things you said earlier was interesting related to restless leg syndrome because I don’t think that people equate that necessarily to a sleep disorder because obviously it’s their legs that are bothering them. I have had that syndrome where it’s like my legs — I just felt like they needed to move and they tingle and they irritate you. So very interesting. So what are some of the mental disorders that have been linked to sleep or lack of sleep?
KC: Well, actually it’s interesting that you mentioned that because anxiety disorder is certainly right up there and maybe it’s kind of an obvious thing in a way because if you’re stressed, you’re having anxiety that makes it harder to let down and relax. Also depression is common as there’s what’s called a bi-directional link. If you suffer from depression, the chances of you also having insomnia are really high and if you have insomnia the chances that you suffer from depression are also really high, so that is a big one. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can also really interfere with with our ability to sleep and you know another thing that you were pointing to earlier was the negative ripple effect that can happen when you’re over tired and you’re off your natural rhythms.
The impact that insomnia has on the people around you, on your work situation, is huge. The Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Sleep Medicine and Research states said that total insomnia patients are more likely to use healthcare resources, visit a physician, be absent or late for work, make errors or have accidents at work, and have more serious road accidents. There’s an increased risk for suicide, substance abuse relapse, and possible immune disfunction.
When we can’t sleep, it impacts all the people around us and going back to that statistic of one in five people — they’re out there driving on the road. There are people who are exhausted past a safe point, and they’re working heavy machinery and doing some very dangerous things.
TP: When I used to drive home late at night it was awful because I’d get behind somebody who was weaving and they could have either been drunk or sleeping. I used to get a cup of coffee at the local fast food place before I hit the freeway and I’d be opening the window trying to stay awake. I’d be just trying to stay awake because it was quiet and I’d kind of just zone out on this hour-and-a-half drive where I was driving at midnight — one o’clock the morning, which I imagine is one of the most dangerous times to be out. I was definitely not really capable of functioning and I should not have been driving, but what are you gonna do? You have to get home. So that’s really scary.
Tell me a little bit about how do most people cope with insomnia and what are some of the treatments or things that people can do if they’re suffering from this insomnia disorder.
Read more about Insomnia, and how The Trivedi Effect® can help HERE.