Do you find yourself twisting around in bed for hours, unable to fall asleep or stay asleep? If so, you may be experiencing insomnia.
Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that affects 10% of the world population. It is characterized by difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, which can result in insufficient rest and an overall reduced quality of life. However, there is hope.
Let’s explore the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for insomnia and where you can go for comprehensive evaluation and treatment of insomnia in Reno-Sparks, Nevada.
What Is Insomnia?
Insomnia, in simple terms, is a sleep disorder characterized by persistent difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep despite having an opportunity for adequate sleep. The effects go beyond just feeling tired.
Occasional insomnia is a minor inconvenience; however, chronic insomnia can interfere with your daily activities and may affect your physical and mental health.
Causes of Insomnia
Insomnia can be caused by a variety of factors that are often interlinked.
- Stress: High levels of stress due to personal or professional issues can lead to insomnia.
- Disruptions in Work or Travel Schedule: Changes in your routine, such as jet lag or working late shifts, can disrupt your body’s circadian rhythms, leading to insomnia.
- Poor Sleep Habits: Irregular sleep schedule, uncomfortable sleep environment, or stimulating activities before bed can prevent a good night’s sleep.
- Eating Too Much Late in the Evening: This can cause discomfort and may cause you to wake up frequently.
- Mental Health Disorders: Conditions like anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can lead to insomnia.
- Medications: Certain medicines, such as pain medications, allergies, and cold medications, can interfere with sleep.
- Medical Conditions: Chronic conditions like diabetes, cancer, heart disease, asthma, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), overactive thyroid, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and others can cause insomnia.
- Sleep-Related Disorders: Sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome can interrupt sleep.
- Substance Use: Caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol can interfere with the quality of your sleep.
- Aging and Gender Factors: Changes in sleep patterns, activity, and health due to aging, being a woman (due to hormonal shifts), or being over age 60 can contribute to insomnia.
Symptoms of Insomnia
The most obvious symptom of insomnia is difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep throughout the night. However, there are other symptoms that are indicators of the condition. These include daytime sleepiness, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and memory problems.
These symptoms can be frustrating and, in some cases, can even lead to more severe medical problems.
While insomnia can be challenging to deal with, various treatment options can help manage the condition.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I)
CBT-I is an approach that helps control or eliminate negative thoughts and actions that keep you awake. It involves recognizing and changing beliefs that affect your sleep, as well as developing good sleep habits. This therapy can involve techniques like:
- Stimulus control therapy
- Relaxation techniques
- Sleep restriction
- Remaining passively awake
- Light therapy
In some cases, prescription medications may be recommended. These can include Eszopiclone (Lunesta), Ramelteon (Rozerem), Zaleplon (Sonata), and Zolpidem (Ambien, Edluar, Intermezzo, Zolpimist).
It’s important to note that these medications should be used under the guidance of a sleep medicine doctor due to potential side effects.
Over-the-counter sleep aids containing antihistamines can make you drowsy, but they’re not intended for regular use.
Lifestyle Changes and Home Remedies
Simple lifestyle changes and home remedies can also help improve your sleep. These may include:
- Sticking to a sleep schedule
- Staying active
- Checking medications for potential contributors to insomnia
- Avoiding or limiting naps
- Managing pain
- Creating a comfortable sleep environment
- Finding ways to relax
Certain alternative medicine treatments can also help some people find relief from insomnia. Examples include acupuncture, meditation, yoga, melatonin supplements, and aromatherapy.
Insomnia Treatment in Reno-Sparks, Nevada
Managing insomnia requires a comprehensive approach that combines various treatment options. Therefore, always consult a healthcare professional specializing in sleep medicine for personalized advice and treatment options.
At MelioREM Sleep Clinic, our highly trained and board-certified sleep medicine doctors work closely with patients to find the best solution to their sleep disorders like insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, narcolepsy, and others. We also offer a variety of treatments, including behavioral modification, CPAP devices, oral appliances, bright light therapy, hypoglossal nerve stimulation therapy, medications and supplements, and surgery to treat sleep disorders.