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Insomnia2020-12-11T10:14:35-07:00

Insomnia

Insomnia is the sleep disorder that brings most patients to The Insomnia and Sleep Institute of Arizona. It can present as difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, waking up too early without being capable of falling asleep again, or a combination of these symptoms. Insomnia occurs even if you spend a full 8 hours in bed every night, meaning it cannot be “fixed” simply by “getting more sleep.” Exact causes, severity, and symptoms are unique to each patient, which is why a correct diagnosis followed by an individualized treatment plan is essential.

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Insomnia and Your Health

Setting the standard for sleep medicine in Arizona, The Insomnia and Sleep Institute of Arizona is a physician-owned comprehensive sleep center where patients always consult with a sleep specialist first. Treating a sleep disturbance that is paired with daytime symptoms requires expert care, and that is what patients receive at the home of the Face of Sleep Medicine as named by Phoenix Magazine. Insomnia can affect every facet of a person’s life, leading to poor work performance, relationships, and decision-making abilities. Overall, those with insomnia have a worse quality of life. Help is available.

Approximately 33 percent of adults have complained of insomnia at some point in their lives. Everybody will have poor sleep or trouble sleeping from time to time, but that is not necessarily insomnia. Those with genuine insomnia are typically females, older patients, and those with specific medical and/or mental health conditions like depression or those struggling with an intense amount of stress. Insomnia may be diagnosed as chronic, acute, or transient. Short-term or acute insomnia lasts a maximum of three months and affects 15 – 20 percent of people. Chronic insomnia happens a minimum of three times per week for a minimum of three months and plagues around 10 percent of people.

If you have trouble sleeping, still feel tired even after what seemed to be a full night’s sleep, experience fatigue during the day, or feel irritable, anxious, or depressed and have difficulty paying attention, you may have insomnia. Insomnia has also been linked to other health conditions such as an increase in blood pressure, a higher risk of developing or exacerbating type-2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Those experiencing menopause or carrying excess weight are also at a higher risk of suffering from insomnia.

“Great facility; clean, private, quiet, friendly and competent staff. Made sleeping in an unfamiliar place, connected to sensors with multiple wires as painless as possible.”

– Joanne Berg

Treatment For Insomnia

The Insomnia and Sleep Institute is driven by outcomes, and that begins with the right diagnosis. Consultations are exclusively with sleep specialists who diagnose sleep disorders and are the first to guide the next steps in testing and treatment. Treatment for insomnia may include:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy For Insomnia

CBT-I is recognized as the first-line therapy for insomnia and is the only therapy that has been shown in clinical trials to potentially result in the resolution of chronic insomnia. The Insomnia and Sleep Institute is one of the very few sleep clinics that hosts sleep-related clinical trials, along with the Mayo Clinic. CBT-I addresses behaviors and thoughts that can prevent quality sleep while helping patients to learn new, customized strategies.

Medication

Sedative hypnotic medications are another possible treatment for insomnia. However, due to the increasing negative long-term effects of these medications, such as an increased risk of cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease, The Insomnia and Sleep Institute avoids prescribing these drugs whenever possible. We pride ourselves on working diligently with patients to wean and ultimately discontinue the use of sleep medications with ensuring the underlying insomnia complaints are properly treated. Instead, we focus on determining and treating the root cause of chronic insomnia. Medications for sleep are only appropriate for short-term use.

Sleep Hygiene

Adopting good sleep hygiene is also part of improving anyone’s quality of sleep, including those with insomnia. Just like a diet, everyone has sleep hygiene, but it takes a conscious effort in order to practice good sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene includes your unique sleep habits and rituals, such as taking a bath before bedtime, removing all electronics from the bedrooms, and avoiding screen time for at least two hours before you go to bed. We will work with you to understand your current sleep hygiene habits and help you identify and develop new, improved options.

Insomnia Videos

Learn more about insomnia and treatments available.

What Is Insomnia?

Avoidance of Technology Before Going To Bed

FAQs

What causes long-term insomnia?2020-11-30T13:22:34-07:00

Long-term insomnia can be caused by a number of factors, including mental health issues like anxiety disorders, depression, or PTSD. Medical illnesses that are painful or stressful are another common cause. Some neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, are connected to insomnia. Those with other sleep disorders, such as restless legs syndrome or sleep apnea, have an increased risk of developing insomnia. Finally, medications, alcohol, and drugs may lead to or exacerbate insomnia and there is even a genetic component linked to a higher likelihood of developing long-term insomnia.

What is the main cause of short-term insomnia?2020-11-30T13:21:10-07:00

Short-term or acute insomnia may be caused by a myriad of factors, such as grief (i.e. a divorce or loss of a loved one), using or stopping stimulants like caffeine, a recent illness or surgery, changes in your sleep environment, and even jet lag. Patients who work the night shift are also at a higher risk of insomnia, particularly short-term insomnia if this is a new work condition.

Can you tell me more examples of daytime dysfunctions and how do I know if they are associated with insomnia or something else?2020-11-30T13:20:11-07:00

Anxiety and depression are examples of possible daytime dysfunctions that are also diagnosable disorders on their own right. Only a sleep specialist can determine whether a patient’s daytime dysfunctions are connected to insomnia or not. There are many possible daytime dysfunctions, including social/vocational/educational dysfunctions, mood disturbances, lack of energy or motivation, hyperactivity, aggression, an increase in errors at school or work, and worrying about sleep.

What are the main factors a sleep specialist looks at when diagnosing insomnia?2020-11-30T13:19:24-07:00

Every patient is unique, so every diagnostic approach is personalized as well. However, there are three main issues a sleep specialist will initially consider when diagnosing insomnia, including a patient’s persistent sleep difficulties, whether they have adequate sleep opportunities, and any associated daytime dysfunctions such as trouble concentrating at school or work.