Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep or remain asleep. It is a large problem in our society, but fortunately for most people, insomnia occurs only on occasion. However, for others insomnia can become chronic. Early morning awakening can become a problem resulting in persistent sleepiness during the day. Contributing factors to insomnia consist of:
Insomnia may be related to other health problems, therefore, it is important to tell the doctor about sleep problems. A diagnosis of insomnia is based on:
Primary treatment is to avoid those elements causing the insomnia. Long-term drugs are not appropriate because they interfere with the body's normal rhythm and over time will decrease the restful function of normal sleep. Because patients begin to feel their sleep is poor, they may take more and more medications, entering a viscous cycle. It is okay to take a sleep-inducing drug on occasion when difficulty sleeping is anticipated, such as a business trip or stimulating vacation.