What Causes Insomnia?
The causes of insomnia depend on various factors. Insomnia can be acute, happening for a few days of the week for a short time, or chronic, lasting for months.
Anxiety And Depression
Insomnia can be caused by a variety of factors related to physical health, mental health, and lifestyle. The condition can be acute, meaning it occurs for a few days of the week for a short time, or chronic, meaning it lasts for months. Many people seek help from an insomnia psychiatrist in order to alleviate this exhausting and often debilitating condition.
How Is Insomnia Diagnosed?
There are several ways to determine if a person has insomnia. It often starts with a physical exam by a doctor. The doctor will check for underlying medical problems that may be contributing to difficulty sleeping. A review of a person’s sleep habits may be conducted. This includes answering questions about their sleep-wake patterns. In addition, being asked to keep a sleep diary for a week or two.
A licensed treatment counselor, such as an insomnia psychiatrist, can diagnose any mental health conditions, such as anxiety, depression, or trauma, that may contribute to or cause insomnia. In some cases, a person may be asked to participate in a sleep study. This requires spending the night in a sleep center. Medical professionals will monitor a person’s breathing, heart rate, brain waves, and eye movements. This helps medical professionals fully understand a person’s sleep cycle.
How Is Insomnia Treated?
Medication treatment often provides relief for those suffering from insomnia. Over-the-counter sleep aid options do exist. However, they are not intended for regular, long-term use. Prescription sleeping pills, including popular ones like Ambien, Lunesta, and Sonata, can provide relief but also should be treated as a short-term option.
With any kind of sleep aid, it’s best to consult a doctor before beginning to take them. Also, be aware of any side effects that may develop. The goal should be to treat the underlying causes of insomnia. In addition, remove the need for any type of sleep aid after a certain amount of time.
Treating mental health conditions that contribute to sleep disturbances can provide relief. Talk therapy that addresses issues such as stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health diagnoses can help lessen or eliminate the intensity and amount of insomnia symptoms.
Living and Coping With Insomnia
While living with insomnia proves to be challenging at times, there are steps a person can take to help ease the symptoms. These steps include:
- Waking up and going to bed at the same time every day
- Not taking naps or limiting them to one brief nap per day
- Getting regular exercise, but not right before bedtime
- Stopping eating or drinking a couple of hours before bedtime
- Limiting or eliminating caffeine and alcohol intake
- Creating an inviting bed by using comfortable bedding, using low or no lighting, and adjusting the room temperature so it isn’t too warm or cold
- Cutting out all noise when you go to bed, other than a source for white noise, if that helps you fall asleep
- Engaging in deep breathing techniques or meditation to help empty your mind of racing thoughts
How to Know When to See a Psychiatrist for Insomnia Treatment
Short bouts of difficulty sleeping often self-correct. But, many people find the issue becomes so overwhelming that they need the help of an insomnia psychiatrist. If symptoms last longer than four weeks or interfere with a person’s ability to perform daytime activities, seeking medical help is a good idea. An insomnia psychiatrist can also help if an individual finds that their sleep disturbances contribute to or cause feelings of anxiety or depression. Being able to fall asleep quickly, stay asleep, and get enough hours in every night is part of enjoying optimal physical and emotional health. Contact us today to further discuss insomnia treatment. Our team will be glad to help.