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WHAT IS INSOMNIA?

WHAT IS INSOMNIA?

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT INSOMNIA

Insomnia is a sleep disorder marked by trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or both. Individuals who suffer from the common problem get little sleep or experience poor-quality sleep. Symptoms of the sleep disorder include fatigue, difficulty concentrating, low energy, and moodiness. Acute insomnia is fleeting and often a result of stress, pressures, or a traumatic event. It usually passes within days or weeks. However, chronic insomnia lasts for a month or longer. Certain medical conditions, other sleep disorders, medicines, or substances can cause this form.

Medical professionals separate insomnia into two categories: primary and secondary. Secondary insomnia is the side effect of another issue, often a symptom of an emotional, neurological, medical, or sleep disorder. Among the conditions that can cause secondary symptoms are depression, anxiety, PTSD, asthma, stroke, menopause, chronic pain, and gastrointestinal disorders. Medicines or substances – including alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco – can also cause this form of insomnia. Primary insomnia is its own disorder, and it can be triggered by factors such as life changes or long-lasting emotional stress.  

HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE IT?

If you are having trouble falling asleep or sleeping through the night regularly, schedule an appointment with our team at Sleep Dynamics, a New Jersey sleep center. Our team of specialists serves Monmouth and Ocean Counties and can accurately diagnose the sleep disorder. To determine whether you are an insomniac, we will consider multiple factors. Your doctor will review your medical and sleep history before performing a physical exam and potentially a sleep study. When you visit our practice in Neptune or Middletown, NJ, we will ask you questions regarding how long the problem has persisted, recent changes to your sleep schedule, and the nature of your sleep difficulties.

HOW COMMON IS IT?

Every night, millions of individuals struggle with insomnia. Studies show that 30-35% of adults experience symptoms of the sleep disorder. However, the issue is more severe for many, with 15-20% afflicted with acute insomnia. In addition, approximately 10% suffer from chronic insomnia.

HOW IS IT TREATED?

There are a host of treatment options available. Our staff of specialists at Sleep Dynamics can devise a plan that will allow you to cure or, at the very least, deal with the disorder. Among the ways to get rid of insomnia are:

LIFESTYLE CHANGES

To relieve acute insomnia, making lifestyle changes may be your most straightforward treatment. A wide range of activities that can contribute to your problem, such as the use of substances or an irregular schedule. Avoid consuming caffeine, tobacco, and other stimulants because their effects can last up to eight hours. Medicines can disrupt sleep and alcohol can cause it to be lighter than normal, so avoid those when possible, too. In addition to eliminating unhealthy behaviors, we suggest incorporating healthy practices into your routine. Exercise approximately 5-6 hours before going to bed and avoid heavy meals in the evening. Additionally, try to go to sleep at the same time every night.

COGNITIVE-BEHAVIORAL THERAPY

For those whose problem has become chronic, Sleep Dynamics offers cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). This insomnia treatment helps relieve anxiety, which can often prolong the sleep disorder. We can introduce relaxation techniques and biofeedback to help you control your breathing, heart rate, and muscles. Our therapist can help implement this positive strategy through weekly meetings for a couple of months.

MEDICINE

Many prescription and over-the-counter medications are used to treat insomnia. You should consult with a professional at Sleep Dynamics before beginning a medicinal regimen regarding the risks and side effects.

CAN SOMEONE DIE FROM INSOMNIA?

A 40-year study at the University of Arizona concluded that people with chronic insomnia have a 58% increased risk of premature death. The chronic sleep disorder can also be the indirect cause of death to a sufferer or someone else. An insomniac may cause an accident in his or her exhaustive state, resulting in death. In rare cases, a genetic disease called fatal familial insomnia (FFI) can lead to exhaustion, dementia, coma and death.

If you or a loved one are suffering from chronic or acute insomnia, call or visit Sleep Dynamics at either of our locations in Neptune or Middletown, NJ. Our sleep specialists will help you get a full night’s sleep so you can lead a more productive life.

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