Unusual Side Effects From Insomnia

Insomnia affects me in so many ways on a daily basis. It can be really tough to manage and can create obstacles in life where there really should not be any.

There are the usual side effects like being very tired and brain fog. Then there are the side effects that I found a little more unusual.

Now, there are some of the things that I never thought would be connected to insomnia. Shows you what a little bit of research can do – knowledge is, after all, power. It has given me a greater understanding of myself and has helped me understand that some things are connected to insomnia.

Low sex drive

I have come in with a bang. Seemingly the excuse, "I am too tired tonight," isn't always just an excuse. Insomnia has the ability to steal the fun from the bedroom too. It could affect your desire and ability to perform sexually. Well, this sure explains a lot. For men, this could mean it could cause some form of erectile dysfunction too.1

It is worth chatting to your healthcare provider about this. There may be ways to combat this and make sure that we are able to maintain healthy sexual relationships with our partners.


Microsleep is exactly what it implies – the tiniest of tiny sleeps. This is something that happens to me very often. Sometimes it is so quick you will not even realize that you have fallen asleep. It is literally for seconds. This can happen at any time of day or night. And I find that there is absolutely no warning that microsleeps are on the way.2

They are for me the most scary thing. In my opinion, microsleeping can be dangerous, particularly when you are working with heavy equipment or driving a car.

Weight gain

Who would have thought not getting your daily dose of sleep could affect your weight? I sure did not.

When I think about it, it makes some kind of sense, as we are awake much longer than most other people are. We are likely to also be eating more during these wakeful times. It would seem that this is a real issue for those of us who suffer from insomnia. Sleep and our circadian rhythm have an impact on the hormones that regulate our appetite too.3

Immune system

Getting good sleep is important to maintain a happy and functioning immune system. Not getting enough sleep or not getting any sleep can therefore compromise your immune system function. My understanding of this is that this then means we would be more susceptible to getting sick from the germs around us.4

Mental health

While this one is not so surprising, I do feel it is important to mention. Getting adequate sleep is very important for maintaining your mental health, and this is something I have a lot of experience with.5

The worse and more prolonged my insomnia is, the more I struggle with my mental health and well-being. I find myself to be moody, and my already existing depression quickly escalates and I need to be super aware of staying on top of things. Chatting with my therapist is my go-to for this.

Getting help

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, please reach out to your healthcare provider and have a chat with them about it. There are usually ways around many of the side effects that we may experience as a result of insomnia. Importantly, if you feel that your mental health is not doing well, then please reach out to someone right away.

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