Updated: Jun 29, 2022
Bring on the wild goose chases. Studies in both Canada and the U.S. have estimated the average annual cost of chronic insomnia at close to $5,000. Yes, $5,000 per year – per person! That’s largely lost productivity and earnings, but also – in desperation – people frequently resort to sleep aids, such as alcohol (worse yet, U-Dream), or visits to naturopaths and acupuncturists. If that doesn’t work, let’s buy another pillow (or 5) or a new mattress.
Another little known “fun fact”: according to research, sleep hygiene – on it’s own – is largely ineffective. Yes, you read that right. There’s a reason it seems like nothing works – for long.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with many of these strategies, at least those that don’t come with dangerous or unpleasant side effects. Some might be relaxing. Can’t hurt. Some might even help a bit in the short term. But if they’re not addressing the actual causes of chronic insomnia, it’s likely too little, too late.
There are many causes of short-term sleep problems, but only two causes of chronic insomnia: disrupted sleep regulation systems and conditioned arousal.