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May 17, 2017 | Internal Medicine • Sleep Medicine
Do you often have trouble getting to sleep, staying asleep, or are unable to fall back to sleep after waking up early? You might have a sleep disorder known as insomnia. Insomnia affects sleep patterns, but this disorder can affect other aspects like energy levels, overall health, and basic quality of life.
Many adults experience short-term insomnia (known as “acute” insomnia) at some point in their lives, which lasts for a few days or a few weeks. Other cases can be chronic and affect people over long periods of time. Here are some basic facts you need to know about insomnia.
There are two distinct types of insomnia:
• Primary insomnia: Characterized by sleep problems that are independent of any other health conditions
Symptoms of insomnia include:
If these symptoms begin negatively interfering with your life, visit your doctor.
For individual cases of acute insomnia, causes include:
Causes of long-term, chronic insomnia includes:
Almost anyone can experience insomnia for at least a night or two, but certain groups are at higher risk:
If you have a severe case of insomnia, your doctor might recommend one of the following treatments:
Several home remedies and prevention methods can help beat insomnia. Some people find success with melatonin and valerian supplements, acupuncture, yoga, tai chi, or meditation, though these methods should not replace the care of a doctor if your symptoms are affecting your quality of life.
You can also make several routine or lifestyle changes to combat insomnia:
If you’re dealing with insomnia, whether acute or chronic, speak to your doctor about identifying the causes and how you can reduce or eliminate symptoms.
“Insomnia.” The Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/insomnia/home/ovc-20256955
“An Overview of Insomnia.” WebMD. http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/guide/insomnia-symptoms-and-causes#1
The Live Better Team
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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.