If you experience difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or enjoying a restful night's sleep, you may be suffering from insomnia. Insomnia is defined as the condition of inadequate or poor-quality sleep because of:
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Waking up frequently during the night with difficulty returning to sleep
- Non-restorative sleep
If you are suffering from insomnia lasting for more than a few days, you should consult your primary care physician. Your doctor may refer you to us at the Sleep Centers of Oklahoma so that the underlying cause can be identified and treated.
There are three common forms of insomnia:
- Transient (short term). Lasting from a single night to a few weeks
- Intermittent (on and off). Episodes occur from time to time
- Chronic (constant). Occurs on most nights and lasts a month or more
If you have loud, irregular snoring, jerking movements or pauses in breathing in addition to other symptoms, seek the advice of a health care provider. These symptoms may be related to sleep apnea, a potentially life-threatening disorder.
Insomnia is a common condition. The U.S. Institute of Medicine estimates that between 50 and 70 million Americans have chronic sleep problems. At INTEGRIS Sleep Centers of Oklahoma, we have the latest technology in diagnostic treatment and interventions at our disposal, and experienced physicians to accurately diagnose your sleep disorder and customize a treatment plan for your insomnia.
Chronic insomnia makes it hard for you to function during the day, as you don’t have much restful sleep:Do these symptoms sound familiar?
- Daytime sleepiness
- Low energy or fatigue
- Awakening during the night
- Anxiety or frustration about sleep
- Attention, concentration or memory problems
- Waking up tired or in pain
- Distress in the gastrointestinal tract and other physical symptoms
Insomnia may be caused by many factors including:
- Physical illness
- Caffeine intake
- Irregular schedules
- Circadian rhythm disorders
- Drugs (including alcohol and nicotine)
- Occasional or chronic pain
If it is deemed necessary to see our sleep specialists at INTEGRIS Sleep Centers of Oklahoma, our physicians and sleep technician may examine medical, hormonal, pulmonary and neurological factors. A sleep study may be conducted to rule out other contributing sleep disorders.
In severe cases medication may be an option. However, in most cases insomnia can be managed by behavioral adjustments, as well as the thorough investigation and treatment of underlying or related health issues.
- Get up about the same time every day.
- Go to bed only when you are sleepy and get out of bed when you are awake.
- Establish pre-sleep rituals, such as a warm bath, a light bedtime snack, brushing teeth, putting on bedtime clothing, or 10 minutes of reading.
- Make your bedroom cool, dark and quiet. Remove non-sleep related items, such as televisions or computers, so that the room is associated only with sleep.
- Maintain a regular schedule. Regular times for meals, taking medications, doing chores, and other activities help keep your "inner clock" running smoothly.
- Exercise regularly. If you exercise vigorously, do this at least three to six hours before bedtime. Mild exercise, even stretching or walking, should not be done closer to bedtime than four hours.
- Avoid falling asleep while watching TV.
- Avoid all caffeine within six hours of bedtime.
- Avoid alcohol for a few hours before bedtime or when you are sleepy.
- Avoid smoking close to bedtime because nicotine is a stimulant.
- If you take naps, try to do so at the same time every day. For most people, a short mid-afternoon nap is most helpful. Limit naps to about 20 minutes.
- Avoid sleeping pills or use them conservatively. Most doctors avoid prescribing sleeping pills for a period of longer than three weeks. Never drink alcohol while taking sleeping pills.
- Reduce light exposure in the evening turning off bright lights, cueing the body and mind for sleep.
- Expose yourself to light (through windows or a timed lamp) 30 minutes before waking to prepare for getting out of bed.