Many people take for granted the ability to get a good night of sleep.
Insomnia disorders can be more or less debilitating, and they affect approximately 35% of the United States population in some way. Pulmonary Associates of Richmond have a team of sleep specialists that are skilled in diagnosing and treating the causes of insomnia.
So, what is insomnia, and how can you rest easier?
At its simplest definition, insomnia is the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep. Sleep is often undervalued in its importance to overall health. A lack of sleep can lead to cognitive issues, chronic health conditions, and depression. Insomnia disorders can stem from many other conditions but can also lead to them.
Causes of Sleep Disorders
Insomnia can be rooted in many causes, including:
- Poor sleeping habits
- Irregular sleep schedule
- Anxiety and depression
- Caffeine and Alcohol
- Other medical conditions, such as Parkinson’s Disease, reflux, asthma
- Uncomfortable sleeping environment (heat, cold, etc.)
There is an interesting dynamic between the causes and effects of insomnia. Many of the causes of insomnia can also be generated by insomnia, creating a cycle of unrest and dysfunction in completing daily tasks.
Insomnia Disorders Diagnosis
Your doctor will do a thorough exam to determine if any physical conditions could be causing insomnia. A sleep log would be helpful in your diagnosis by cataloging your sleeping habits and the severity of your problem. Your doctor will ask questions regarding how often you have trouble sleeping and how long you can sleep. You may be asked to fill out a questionnaire to aid with this information. Additionally, a sleep study could be ordered. During a sleep study, you will spend the night in a sleep center, and tests will be done to monitor activities while you sleep.
Treatment can vary from modifying your sleep habits, schedule, and environment to cognitive behavior therapy. Stress-reduction techniques and medications may also be part of your insomnia care. Light therapy could be used to help realign your circadian (internal clock) rhythm with the sun. Ultimately, the root cause of your insomnia will determine the recommended treatment.
Better sleep is only a conversation away. Sleep is a vital reset for your body. Talking with your physician and establishing a treatment plan for your particular insomnia causes and concerns is essential to your overall health and can put you on the path to better sleep and wellness.