Sleep disorders are pretty common. They are among the most common reason for visiting your doctor. Often, they are seen as a complication of many conditions that they are overlooked as a standalone disease. Similarly, the topic of sleep disorders are also poorly covered in medical education. Most health practitioners look at it as a result of a physical or psychological cause, primarily psychiatric or neurological complications. Insomnia, for one, is a common complaint that rarely receives proper treatment. The global market of insomnia is expected to grow until 2026, which makes it essential to know why insomnia misdiagnosis is pretty common.

Insomnia Misdiagnosis Facts

Here are the things you should know about insomnia misdiagnosis:

Insomnia can be misdiagnosed as depression

According to the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, as much as 70% of people who have insomnia also have symptoms of depression. This is the main reason why they are often misdiagnosed to have depression instead. This misdiagnosis is often problematic because several studies have shown that sleep disorders such as insomnia, if left untreated, can indeed lead to depression. Dealing with depression as a result of misdiagnosis is unacceptable. In the US, approximately 6-7% of workers suffer from major depression, which equates to $210.5 billion yearly. Individuals with higher severity of sleep disorders have a higher risk of depression.

Untreated insomnia can lead to increased cardiovascular diseases

In addition to depression, insomnia misdiagnosis can lead to increased risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.

Misdiagnosed insomnia can lead to accidents

Lack of sleep can increase your risk of figuring in accidents. A large number of accidents are a result of fatigue and drowsiness, and most of these occur in the workplace. For example, operating machinery while tired often leads to accidents. Failure to diagnose insomnia can result in impaired judgment, particularly when driving, and this can lead to accidents or even death.

Insomnia misdiagnosis constitutes medical malpractice

According to, failure to diagnose is enough to implicate a doctor for medical malpractice. Diagnostic error lawsuits seek to provide monetary damages to compensate for the physical pain, emotional distress, and lost wages due to misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose. Often, failure to diagnose stems from poor judgment and analysis of symptoms, failure to order tests and refer to a specialist, or absence of thorough history and physical exam.

What To Do If Your Insomnia Was Misdiagnosed

  • First, ask your doctor what medications you need to stop taking. For instance, you were diagnosed to have depression and received antidepressants. Ask your doctor if you would still benefit from taking them, or it would be better if you stop.
  • Second, know what treatment plans are available for you. For most sleep disorders, the use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is necessary to treat sleep disorders.
  • Third, find out what causes your insomnia. Do you have any other medical conditions that need to be addressed to treat insomnia? Stress is the most common cause of insomnia. However, other medical conditions may make it harder for you to get a restful sleep, such as an overactive thyroid, gastroesophageal reflux, or obesity.
  • Fourth, address these causes.

Treatment for insomnia may include:

Meditation. Engaging in several breathing exercises can train your mind to relax. Meditation has been proven time and again to help calm the nerves.

Medication. Some medications, such as CBD oil, can help individuals with insomnia. Check with your doctor.

Relaxation therapy. Often, insomnia results from worrying that it would be another sleepless night that you’d usually toss and turn on your bed. Relax and focus your mind on thinking about other things.

Share this article

Facebook Comments