Home Gesundheit Nach Jahren schlafloser Nächte eine Schlaflosigkeitsdiagnose

Nach Jahren schlafloser Nächte eine Schlaflosigkeitsdiagnose

von NFI Redaktion

George Galioto attributed his sleepless nights to his hectic schedule. Juggling two jobs, spending long hours in bars and restaurants where shifts often ended past midnight, and balancing work with school, he found himself studying late into the evening.

„I would try to fall asleep well past midnight, sometimes not until 3 in the morning,“ he recalls. „For a long time, I thought it was this lifestyle that kept me away from a regular circadian sleep cycle.“

Even when it was time to go to bed, Galioto, now 49, rarely felt tired. He struggled to shut off his brain’s sleep cues, making it difficult for him to relax. He tried several over-the-counter sleep aids, which worked for a while, but gradually lost their effectiveness.

„I tried all sorts of medications,“ he says. „They would work for about a month, and then the effect wore off.“

Galioto would stay awake into the early morning hours on most nights, sleeping only about four hours per night. He adapted to operating on very little sleep, but eventually, the sleepless nights took their toll.

„I kept pushing through and never gave up… until I reached a breaking point,“ he recalls.

Approximately 25% of adults in the United States report not getting enough sleep and tossing and turning at least 15 days a month. „Short sleepers,“ those who sleep less than the recommended 6 hours per night, are at a higher risk for various health conditions, including:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes

Lack of sleep can weaken your immune system, increase the risk of colds, flu, and other infections, and reduce your effectiveness at work or school. Insomnia is also associated with poor family health and issues in personal relationships, something Galioto experienced firsthand.

During his early marriage years, many of the problems he and his partner faced as a young couple were exacerbated by his lack of sleep, leading to increased stress and situations where his lack of sleep made everything worse.

Galioto knew that his poor sleep was causing problems, but he felt the odds were stacked against him with his irregular schedule and ineffective over-the-counter sleep aids.

It wasn’t until he was diagnosed with ADHD and discussed his sleep habits with his doctor that he learned he was also suffering from chronic insomnia. This diagnosis came after more than a decade of sleepless nights.

For Galioto, it was crucial to discover that his insomnia was a medical issue and not a personal failing. „It was a huge relief,“ he recalls. „I felt like now that we know what it is, maybe we can fix it.“

A diagnosis meant his doctor could prescribe a treatment plan. Galioto started taking medication for his insomnia, which helped counter the stimulating effects of his ADHD medication that caused his heart to race and led to heightened wakefulness.

His doctor also recommended light therapy, exposing Galioto to artificial light for a set period each day to help reset his sleep-wake cycle.

Galioto says his family was relieved when they learned about his diagnosis.

„My family noticed I was irritable due to lack of sleep,“ Galioto says. „It became an open topic rather than something hidden. We talked about it, and it helped the rest of the family cope.“

In addition to medication, Galioto worked on establishing better sleep habits, such as:

  • Setting an alarm to remind him to go to bed
  • Reading a book or watching TV to unwind
  • Adhering to his medication schedule to promote a regular sleep-wake cycle

„I have a process, and going through these steps helps,“ he says.

Galioto still struggles to sleep six hours per night, but knowing the reason for his insomnia, along with his medication and a list of good sleep habits recommended by his doctor, eases his recovery a bit.

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