Inability to fall asleep, inability to stay asleep
Types of Insomnia
- Transient insomnia - inability to sleep well over a period of a few nights. Usually brought on by excitement or stress.
- Short-term insomnia - Periods of ongoing stress at work or at home can result in two to three weeks of poor sleep. When stress subsides, sleep usually returns to normal.
- Chronic Insomnia - Poor sleep every night or most nights.
Causes of Insomnia
- Some people seem more likely than others to experience insomnia during times of stress
- Persistent stress such as a troubled marriage or chronic illness
- Psychiatric problems - Awakenings earlier than desired is one of the most common symptoms of depression
- Use of caffeine near bedtime, even if it doesn't interfere with onset of sleep, can trigger awakenings later in the night. Nicotine is also a stimulant and smokers may take longer to fall asleep.
- Although alcohol can induce sleep, is likely to make sleep more fragile throughout the sleep.
- Erratic Hours can disrupt the bodies ability to sleep.
- Inactive behavior during the day may make it difficult to fall asleep at night.
- Learned Insomnia: People who sleep poorly during times of stress are likely to worry about not being able to function effectively during the day.
- Misuse or overuse of sleeping pills: If used every night, sleeping pills stop being effective after a few weeks. When their use is stopped suddenly, sleep can be temporarily worse.
- Environmental Factors:
- Noise can disturb sleep even if it doesn't cause the sleeper to wake up. Such as passing traffic, airplanes or television.
- Light comes through the eyelids even when the eyes are closed.
- Physical Illness:
- Breathing disorders: Sleep apnea can cause the sleeper to have frequent awakenings.
- Periodic Limb Movements of Sleep: Can cause brief awakenings during the night.
How to Get Diagnosed
If you suffer from insomnia talk with your physician about getting diagnosed. If you do not have a physician you can be seen in our sleep clinic. Please call 563-421-1523 for more information about scheduling your appointment.
- Your physician will start by getting a complete medical history.
- The physician will want to speak with your bed partner or other members of your household about your sleeping and daytime behavio.r
- To diagnose insomnia and determine the underlying cause your physician may refer you for a sleep study. You may also be referred for an MSLT if your doctor needs to assess daytime alertness.
- If another disorder is causing the insomnia that disorder will be treated.
- Follow sleep hygiene rules to help stabilize your sleep/wake schedule.
- Your doctor may refer you into the insomnia program which utilizes relaxation and behavioral techniques to treat your insomnia.
- Medications may be utilized.