If you experience difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or enjoying a restful night's sleep, you may be suffering from insomnia and you are not alone. According to the National Institute of Health, nearly 40% of the U.S. adult population suffers from insomnia over the course of a year. Insomnia is defined as the perception or complaint of inadequate or poor-quality sleep because of one or more of the following:
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Waking up frequently during the night with difficulty returning to sleep
- Waking up too early in the morning
- Nonrefreshing sleep
Insomnia is classified as:
- Transient (short term). Lasting from a single night to a few weeks
- Intermittent (on and off). Episodes occur from time to time
- Chronic (constant). Occurs on most nights and lasts a month or more
What causes insomnia?
Insomnia may be caused by many factors, including the following:
- Physical illness
- Caffeine intake
- Irregular schedules
- Circadian rhythm disorders
- Drugs (including alcohol and nicotine)
- Occasional or chronic pain
What are the symptoms of insomnia?
- Daytime sleepiness
- Low energy or fatigue
- Anxiety or frustration about sleep
- Attention, concentration or memory problems
- Waking up tired or in pain
Diagnosis of insomnia
To properly diagnose insomnia, your sleep history, medical history and a physical examination are. You may be asked to keep a sleep diary showing sleep and wake patterns for a week or so. In some cases, an overnight sleep study may be necessary.
Treatment of insomnia
By reducing stress through various techniques you may be able to address insomnia. In addition, behavioral therapies have proven effective in treating insomnia. Often our sleep medicine experts may prescribe a combination of short-term medication and behavioral therapy for long-term benefit. This combination is frequently successful in providing immediate relief and preventing relapses.