Back in 2010 I wrote a post that raised the idea that perhaps you’re sleeping just fine, even when it feels as though you’ve been tossing and turning all night.
It would appear that I may have been onto something.
An article in New Scientist magazine recently went into detail about a condition known as pseudoinsomnia.
Sufferers of pseudoinsomnia feel as though they’re lying awake, trying to sleep night after night. In fact, they’re actually falling asleep and staying asleep.
Interestingly, these individuals aren’t imagining things. They’re suffering from an unusual form of insomnia.
Although the conventional methods of measuring brainwaves would suggest these individuals are sleeping normally, when analyzing brainwaves using a different algorithm it appears that the sleep cycles of those suffering from pseudoinsomnia are being interrupted by brainwaves that are commonly associated with anxiety, fear and wakefulness.
As a result, it’s thought that although these individuals are sleeping, their brains are never really switched off.
Furthermore, brainwave patterns in pseudoinsomniacs were similar to those who suffer from anxiety and chronic pain.
This suggests that when we are unable to switch off our brains, we may be increasing our risk of developing a number of nervous symptoms (including an inability to enjoy healthy sleep).
Source: New Scientist (subscription required)Improve your sleep without sleeping pills with my free sleep training. As always, there's more information and advice in our insomnia support group