INSOMNIA

Description

  • Common sleep disorder
  • Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep

Symptoms

  • Difficulty falling asleep at night
  • Awakening during the night
  • Generalized anxiety
  • Not feeling well rested after a night’s sleep
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Tension headaches
  • Lie awake for long periods at night

Causes

  • Psychological stress or worry
  • Mental health disorders, such as depression or anxiety
  • Working the night or graveyard shift
  • Sleeping with your television or radio on
  • Not getting enough exercise or physical activity
  • Consuming too much caffeine
  • Medical conditions, such as hypothyroidism

Risk Factors

  • Women are much more likely to experience insomnia
  • Insomnia increases with age
  • Stressful events
  • Working at night or frequently changing shifts
  • Jet lag from traveling across multiple time zones

Diagnostic Tests

  • Physical examination
  • Various blood tests
  • Polysomnography
  • Tests are done to monitor and record body activities while sleeping

Treatment

  • Behavioral therapy
  • Anti-anxiety or antidepressant medication
  • Sleep aid medication
  • Establishing good sleep habits
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Light therapy
  • Taking prescription sleeping pills

Medications

  • Zolpidem (Ambien)
  • Eszopiclone (Lunesta)
  • Zaleplon (Sonata)
  • Ramelteon (Rozerem)

Prevention

  • Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day
  • Avoid naps after 3 p.m.
  • Avoid caffeine in the evenings and at night
  • Avoid exercise two to three hours before bedtime
  • Don’t eat a big meal just before bedtime

Lifestyle Management

  • Exercise daily
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol
  • Don’t lie in bed feeling anxious about lack of sleep
  • Avoid watching the clock
  • Use thick blinds or curtains or wear an eye mask
  • Make sure the mattress is comfortable
  • Improve eating habits
  • Stick to a sleep schedule