Insomnia: What You and Lady Gaga May Have in Common

Julie Ryan Evans

Photo by corrie0227
As many as 50 percent of all Americans experience insomnia, including Lady Gaga.

She recently told OK:  "My passion is so strong I can't sleep - I haven't slept for three days. I lie in bed and try to pray and breathe. I have a very overactive mind."

While I've never gone three days without sleep, I have experienced insomnia on occasion, and it's an incredibly frustrating, exhausting experience.

It can be brought on by things like stress, depression, alcohol, certain medications, or even eating too late at night. Its effect on one's daily life can be quite detrimental - from making us too tired to have sex to contributing to obesity and worse. Michael Jackson is a devastating example of how painful insomnia can be. Cory Haim was also reportedly battling insomnia before his death.

Fortunately, it usually doesn't last (only 10 percent of cases are chronic), and there are a host of techniques for preventing insomnia and many non-medical treatments to address it.

For those who need medicinal treatment, there is hope in The FDA's recent approval of doxepin, the first "non-abusable" medication for insomnia.

Have you experienced insomnia? How have you treated it?

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