Treatment for Insomnia in Annapolis, MD
What is Insomnia?
Anyone that has difficulty falling or staying asleep, even when they are free of distraction or disturbance, is considered to have a sleep disorder known as insomnia. A few nights of inadequate rest does not necessarily mean that an individual has insomnia, but if these symptoms persist for three or more months, they are likely suffering from some kind of sleep disorder.
What Are the Different Types of Insomnia?
There are an infinite number of reasons as to why any person would have trouble sleeping. If an individual’s insomnia can be linked to another medical condition such as depression or even heartburn, then it is categorized as secondary insomnia.
Another type of insomnia called primary insomnia describes a situation in which the person does not have any other associated conditions with their sleeping disorder.
What’s the Difference Between Acute and Chronic Insomnia?
An additional distinction exists between insomnia that lasts for a short period (acute insomnia) and insomnia that lasts long term (chronic insomnia).
Acute insomnia typically applies to those who experience insomnia as a result of stress or other serious events going on in their personal lives. For example, you may find it difficult to sleep for several weeks after the passing of a loved one, but eventually your sleep schedule will stabilize again. In addition to stress, other common causes of acute insomnia include:
- New medications
- Environmental factors such as loud noises or temperature fluctuations
- Physical discomfort
- Sudden changes in your sleep schedule like switching from working a day shift to a night shift
Those with chronic insomnia will find that their sleeping issues exist no matter what is or is not happening in their personal life. Chronic insomnia generally lasts much longer than acute insomnia, and is often caused by:
- Persistent stress
- Physical discomfort
Diagnosis and Treatment for Insomnia at Annapolis Asthma, Pulmonary & Sleep Specialists
It is important to talk with your doctor if you notice that you have difficulty sleeping for approximately three nights out of the week. First, your doctor will start the process of diagnosing your insomnia by completing a physical exam to see if there is any reason why you would be experiencing significant discomfort at night.
It can also be helpful to keep track of your symptoms by writing them down in a sleep journal. The more information you are able to provide, the better. Additional sleep tests may be conducted by a specialist if necessary.
Once the cause of a patient’s insomnia has been determined, your physician will move on to helping them find a suitable treatment option such as:
- Lifestyle changes to encourage good sleeping habits
- Prescribed medication
- Behavioral therapy to teach sleep techniques for proper relaxation
For cases of chronic insomnia, it is important to treat the underlying condition that is leading to the person’s disordered sleeping. This can address emotional issues, physical issues, or both.
Over-the-counter sleeping pills are not recommended for people who suffer from insomnia, as they do not remain effective long-term.