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Your Occasional Trouble Sleeping Is Not Insomnia

So you were awake pretty late last night, or you tossed and turned all night? Do you do that many nights or just from time to time?

Occasional trouble sleeping is not insomnia. Insomnia is a chronic sleep issue that often leaves you exhausted. Please stop comparing a sleepless night or 2 to chronic insomnia.

Trivializing chronic conditions is not okay

Society as a whole tends to use terms that should not be used to describe certain situations. People label themselves as OCD when they prefer things to be a certain way, but this trivializes the disorder and is demeaning to those who must deal with it.

Bipolar disorder is another condition that is often trivialized. People, stop saying you’re “being bipolar” if you change your mind. The way the term “bipolar” is used by many is degrading to those who struggle with this disorder on a daily basis.

It is time to stop using terms inappropriately because it belittles the conditions that affect the lives of many. Insomnia is only 1 misused term, but it is misused quite often. Society as a whole needs to realize that using the terms incorrectly is not normalizing these conditions. It is trivializing them by equating them to completely normal things. It is not the same.

Insomnia is not what you think it is

Being a night owl is not insomnia. I have chronic insomnia, and I do tend to be a night owl. However, that is not what chronic insomnia is. Insomnia is lying awake for hours before falling asleep. It is waking up over and over again. It is learning to live on 4, 5, or 6 hours of sleep. Insomnia is dragging through the days, trying to function on a fraction of the amount of sleep your body needs. It is learning to survive without getting adequate sleep.

Stress-related sleep issues are not insomnia. Stress does agitate insomnia and can cause insomnia, but being unable to sleep or unable to sleep well from time to time due to stress is not the same thing as insomnia.

Insomnia is a consistent and persistent issue with sleep for many of us. I have far many more nights that I get a total of around 5 hours of sleep than I have ever been able to sleep for 7 or more hours. That is insomnia. It is a persistent lack of sleep.

Please be kind. Rewind your misuse of terms and labeling

The problem with people not understanding the difference is that our exhaustion and fatigue are often overlooked. Sometimes it is belittled. I have been called lazy. I have actually been called quite a lot of things because of issues created by chronic insomnia.

A little compassion and understanding would go a long way. Nobody should be belittled for a medical condition they cannot control. Please understand that while you think we are lazy, we are struggling to get through our days when our body is absolutely exhausted. We cannot get the proper amount of rest to function as we should. Please be kind. We are trying. Please be considerate of all conditions and stop misusing terms for various conditions.

Have you ever been belittled or criticized for a condition? How did you handle the situation? I would love to hear about your experience.

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