Sleep State Misperception: A Common Sleep Disorder

paradoxical insomnia

Hey Sleep Warriors,

Do you find yourself spending hours in bed, tossing and turning without being able to sleep? Have you noticed that you can keep this up for several nights in a row and still manage to function fairly well during the day? If so, you may be experiencing a common sleep disorder called sleep state misperception.

Sleep state misperception, also known as paradoxical insomnia, is a condition where you underestimate the number of hours you slept overnight. People with this disorder feel they have been awake; however, they are sleeping more than they think. In my practice, many patients have reported not sleeping at all during their sleep study, yet the EEG (brainwave activity measured through wires attached to the scalp) showed that they had slept for several hours or in some cases the entire night!

Paradoxical insomnia can be difficult to diagnose and the causes are not well understood. Research studies have connected the condition to anxiety, chronic insomnia, and sleep disorders that cause frequent arousals, such as sleep apnea.

If you think you may be experiencing sleep state misperception, focus more on how you feel in the morning and throughout the day, rather than on a specific number of hours slept. And don’t trust your sleep tracker to get it right in these cases. If you’re unable to sleep, close your eyes and relax. Relaxation can be incredibly beneficial for your body and mind, even if you don't fall asleep immediately. It's possible that you're actually asleep without realizing it!

Remember, it's essential to prioritize your sleep health. Sleep deprivation can have severe consequences on your physical and mental health. If you're struggling with sleep, don't hesitate to seek help from a healthcare professional. There are many effective treatments available that can help you get the restful sleep you need.

Wishing you restful nights and energized days!

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