Several months ago, the death of Hall of Fame NFL linebacker Junior Seau rocked the sports world. After a celebrated career playing for the Sand Diego Chargers, New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins, Seau committed suicide at the age of 43 after reportedly suffering from a long bout of depression.
While some suspect Seau may have been the victim of brain trauma owed to the collisions he endured as a former professional football player; many of his friends say he suffered from chronic insomnia, which some believe could have directly or indirectly played a role in the tragedy.
The Dangers of Insomnia
While it’s not known if Seau’s insomnia played a role in his suicide, studies have shown that a lack of sleep can promote depression in many people. What’s more, when people cannot sleep, they often turn to prescription drugs that have a history of promoting suicidal thoughts in certain individuals. According to friends of Seau, the former all-pro NFL linebacker took Ambien to treat his chronic insomnia. According to the FDA, some users of Ambien have reported having suicidal thoughts, especially if they experienced depression while on the drug.
When it’s Not Really Insomnia
Although no one knows why Junior Seau took his life, many suspect his depression and insomnia may have played at least some part. According to reports, Seau may have suffered from maintenance insomnia, which is defined as frequently waking throughout the night without being able to go back to sleep.
Many times, maintenance insomnia is owed to sleep apnea, a dangerous sleep disorder that causes sufferers to stop breathing throughout the night. When this occurs, the person awakens, often without knowing why he or she has done so.
If you are suffering from a temporary bout of insomnia, prescription drugs may help. On the other hand, if you are experiencing chronic maintenance insomnia, you may have sleep apnea. A sleep physician can give you a positive or negative diagnosis. If you are positively diagnosed, Dr. Weiser can provide a comfortable sleep apnea treatment that will put an end to your sleeping problems. Contact his office today to learn more.