Insomnia is often defined as the inability to fall asleep, or difficulty staying asleep. Insomnia can be a symptom of another disorder (secondary insomnia), a disorder of its own (primary insomnia), or be seen independent of another presented disorder (co-morbid). Of the more than 80 defined sleep disorders, insomnia is one of the most common. One in ten adults suffer from chronic insomnia, though children and adolescents can suffer from sleeping problems as well.
Insomnia in any of its forms can result in impairment during the day, chronic fatigue, and higher levels of stress and irritability. Lack of sleep can cause drowsiness, interfering with driving as well as difficulty in operating machinery.
Causes of Insomnia
Poor sleep quality can be attributed to several factors, depending on the type of insomnia. Commonly used substances, such as caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol may be the cause. Out of the medical causes for insomnia, chronic pain and sleep apnea (difficulty breathing at night) are the most common.
Secondary insomnia can also be attributed to psychiatric conditions, such as depression, anxiety or PTSD. Certain medicines taken for various disorders may cause insomnia as a side effect.
Primary insomnia, being independent of another disorder, can be caused by a number of issues, such as stress or lifestyle changes.
Treatment for insomnia first entails ensuring that the insomnia is not caused by another medical or psychiatric condition. Patients may be referred to a sleep specialist or PCP for blood work. Patients may be taught sleep hygiene techniques and how to promote healthy sleep habits. Medications such as sedative hypnotics including Ambien, Lunesta, Sonata, and Bellsomra may be options for patients.
If you are interested in becoming a new patient and want to be evaluated and treated for an insomnia disorder, please complete a New Patient Intake Form and our staff will review your submission and assist you with making a new patient appointment.
Crescent City Psychiatric, LLC
1 Galleria Drive, Suite 1900, Metairie, Louisiana 70001, United States