What is Insomnia?

woman suffering from insomniaIf you’re not sleeping well, it can affect many areas of your life. Insomnia can wreak havoc on your waking hours, making you feel continually tired and irritable as you struggle to get through the day.

In this blog, sleep specialist Dr. Samit Malhotra of Sleep & Neuroscience Associates in Greenwich CT explains what insomnia is and how it can be treated.

What is insomnia?

It's a common sleep disorder that’s characterized by difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.

This disorder can be acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term), and it can disrupt the quality and quantity of your sleep and cause a variety of issues.

What are some of the symptoms?

You may experience following symptoms:

  • Trouble falling asleep
  • Waking up often at night and having trouble falling back asleep
  • Waking up too early in the morning
  • Feeling tired when you get up in the morning and throughout the day
  • Feeling anxious, depressed, or irritable
  • Having trouble paying attention and remembering
  • Having frequent headaches

What causes insomnia?

This sleep disorder can be characterized as primary or secondary. Primary can be caused by a variety of triggers, including stress or anxiety. Secondary, on the other hand, is a symptom of another problem. These can include medical conditions, sleep disorders, and side effects from medication.

How is it diagnosed?

A sleep specialist can help provide a diagnosis and treatment. A sleep study may be ordered to get more information about your sleep habits. This study measures your breathing, blood oxygen levels, heart rate, movements, and more as you sleep, giving your doctor specific information about what happens while you’re asleep or trying to sleep.

What are the treatment options?

This disorder can be treated in the following ways:

  • Lifestyle modifications – Depending on your needs and habits, it can help to lose weight, stop smoking, avoid alcohol, and exercise regularly.
  • Sleep hygiene – Practicing good sleep habits such as avoiding naps, heavy meals before bedtime, and keeping a regular sleep schedule can help with some cases.
  • Addressing underlying issuesSleep apnea, a common sleep disorder, can be treated by using a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine or other measures. If a medication is causing your issues, perhaps it can be changed for another medicine that will help you without causing you to have trouble sleeping.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBTi) – This treatment is designed to help you fall asleep and stay asleep at night, and it may involve seeing a behavioral sleep psychologist.
  • Medical management – FDA-approved medications can help treat this sleep disorder.

If you’re suffering from insomnia, make an appointment today with Sleep & Neuroscience Associates. We’re experienced in diagnosing and treating sleep disorders and can help you get the treatment you need to get a good night’s sleep.

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