Insomnia is a symptom of another problem and can be caused by any of a number of factors. Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep plagues one in three American adults. If you suffer from insomnia, it disturbs your waking hours as well as your sleeping hours, since you’re likely to feel sleepy during the day and have trouble concentrating on tasks after a poor night’s sleep. In this case, insomnia treatment may be an option.
- Psychological Factors – Some people seem more likely than others to experience insomnia during times of stress. Knowing that the sleep problems can occur and that they will subside after the stress is gone can be helpful in coping with bouts of poor sleep.
- Persistent Stress – Problems such as a troubled relationship, caring for a chronically ill family member or a dissatisfying job can often contribute to poor sleep.
- Psychiatric Problems – Insomnia is one of the most common symptoms of depression. Poor sleep can also affect people with anxiety and other psychiatric disorders.
Treatment Options for Insomnia
Seek help if your sleep has been disturbed for more than a month, or if it interferes with the way you feel or function during the day. Sometimes insomnia can be helped through education alone, particularly in patients whose insomnia stems from poor sleep habits. In other cases, medication or evaluation and insomnia treatment by a psychiatrist or psychologist may be prescribed.
- Maintaining good sleep habits can help with many disorders, not just Insomnia.
- Wake up about the same time every day.
- Keep a regular schedule. Regular times for meals and medications can help the internal body clock run smoothly.
- Exercise regularly.
- Avoid napping. If needed, try to nap at the same time every day.
- Avoid ingestion of caffeine or alcohol within six hours of bedtime.
- Avoid smoking close to bedtime. Ideally, stop smoking altogether.
- Establish relaxing pre-sleep rituals, such as a warm bath, light bedtime snack, or 10 minutes of reading, meditation or prayer.
- Go to bed only when sleepy.
- Avoid sleeping pills.
Hoag Sleep Health Program
COVID-19 Notice: In an effort to protect our patients and help reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus, our six-week Behavioral Sleep Medicine course is now being offered virtually via Zoom.