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What is Insomnia?

What is insomnia?

Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that can make it hard to fall asleep, hard to stay asleep or cause you to wake up too early and not be able to get back to sleep. You may still feel tired when you wake up. Insomnia can sap not only your energy level and mood but also your health, work performance, and quality of life. The amount of sleep someone should get varies from person to person, but adults should typically get 7-8 hours of sleep every night. At some point, many adults experience short-term (acute) insomnia, which lasts for days or weeks. It's usually the result of stress or a traumatic event. But some people have long-term (chronic) insomnia that lasts for a month or more. Insomnia may be the primary problem, or it may be associated with other medical conditions or medications. There are ways to manage insomnia and in some cases, it may be a few simple changes to your daily habits. 


Insomnia symptoms may include:


What causes Insomnia?

Insomnia is usually the cause of stress, travel or work schedule, poor sleeping habits or even eating too much before bed. Stress over work, school, health, or finances can make it difficult for one to sleep. Life events to drama such as a loss or illness may also lead to insomnia. Working late or early or frequently changing shifts can also lead to insomnia. Your body’s sleep cycle gets mixed up and disrupts your body’s rhythms. Poor sleep habits such as an irregular bedtime schedule, naps, stimulating activities before bed, an uncomfortable sleep environment, or watching TV before bed may cause insomnia. Eating too much before bed may also keep you awake. Eating too much may cause you to feel physically uncomfortable. 

Insomnia may also be associated with medical conditions or the use of certain drugs or medications. 

Some other causes of insomnia can include mental health disorders such as anxiety or PTSD. Some medications can also interfere with sleep such as certain antidepressants and medications for asthma or blood pressure. Some medications may also include caffeine. Caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol may also lead to insomnia. Drinks such as soda, coffee, and tea contain caffeine which are stimulants. Drinking caffeine in the late afternoon can keep you from falling asleep at night. Nicotine in tobacco products is also another stimulant that can interfere with sleep. Alcohol also prevents you from sleeping in deeper stages and often causes awakening in the middle of the night. 



Below are some good sleep habits that prevent insomnia and promote good sleep. 


If you believe you have Insomnia and would like to make an appointment, call A Ray of Hope: Great Lakes Institute of Neurology and Psychiatry, at 847-268-3908 or make an appointment online today, for expert, multidisciplinary treatment for Insomnia.

Emilia Cantero Social Media Liaison

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