What is orthosomnia?
Orthosomnia is a condition described by a group of sleep researchers in the US, who noted they were seeing an increased group of individuals who had developed an unhealthy over-focus on their sleep, in the absence of any sleep problems.
Individuals frequently monitor their sleep, often using smartphone apps, and become concerned about the quality or quantity of their sleep, resulting in limitations to their daytime and/or night time activities in the service of their sleep, to an unhealthy degree. Some of these individuals paradoxically go on to develop insomnia as a result of this unhealthy preoccupation with sleep.
How can I tell if I'm suffering from orthosomnia?
If you start to find you are relying on your sleep tracker to tell you whether or not you have had a good night’s sleep, rather than focusing on how you feel when you wake in the morning, or find yourself constantly worrying about getting enough good quality sleep, and then struggling to sleep when you go to bed, try switching off your tracker for a few nights, and listen instead to your body and brain which will tell you whether you have had a restful night’s sleep.
Is orthosomnia a new syndrome? What has caused it?
Orthosomnia has not formally been confirmed as a sleep diagnosis, but the rise of sleep trackers and the “wellness” movement, together with a wider understanding of the importance of sleep for health and wellbeing, has probably resulted in an increase in the number of individuals who have an unhealthy focus on their sleep