Can your sleep patterns be making you sick? Elizabeth Tracey reports


Sleep difficulties or insomnia are common, and the problem is growing. The latest data reveals that about a third of us have the condition, with women affected more often than men. Psychiatrist Andrew Huhn at Johns Hopkins says to address the problem it must first be defined.

Huhn: Insomnia is in general diagnosed by a person's perception of the quality of their sleep, and in the case of short term insomnia that would be considered having difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep for three nights out of the week over a period of time that's less than three months. Chronic insomnia on the other hand would be to experience those same symptoms over the course of longer than three months.     :27

Short term insomnia may be situational, with stress or major life changes playing a role. Chronic insomnia though is associated with both cognitive and physical functioning, and may be a key player in the development of health issues such as diabetes, so getting evaluated is important. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.