Otolaryngology & Allergy Testing & Immunotherapy Clinic located in Mandeville, Hammond, & Slidell, LA
If you have difficulty sleeping, you’re not alone. It’s estimated that 50-70 million American adults have a sleep disorder, with insomnia being the most common problem. The doctors at SLENT have years of experience determining the cause of insomnia, and then developing individualized treatment that helps you finally get a restful night’s sleep. To schedule an appointment, use online booking or call one of the offices in Slidell, Hammond, Metairie, and Mandeville, Louisiana.
Insomnia Q & A
What is insomnia?
Insomnia is a sleep disorder that causes problems such as:
- Having a hard time falling asleep
- Staying awake most of the night
- Frequently waking (inability to stay asleep)
- Waking too early and not being able to go back to sleep
- Feeling exhausted throughout the day
Everyone occasionally has short-term insomnia, which lasts a few days to weeks and is often caused by stress or a difficult life event. When your sleep problem lasts six months or longer, it’s called chronic insomnia.
Chronic insomnia may be a primary health condition, without an identifiable underlying cause, or it may be due to another health condition, such as:
- Chronic pain
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Heart failure
- Restless leg syndrome
- Certain medications
Some patients have a circadian rhythm sleep disorder that causes a disruption in their sleep-wake cycle. This type of sleep problem is often brought on by jet lag and shift work.
What other symptoms develop due to insomnia?
Beyond the fatigue that makes you drag through the day, not to mention the frustration of not being able to sleep, insomnia causes other problems. Sleep deficiency affects your memory and your ability to concentrate or focus on a task. In many cases, lack of sleep makes you feel anxious and irritable.
Ongoing insomnia makes you four times more likely to become depressed compared to patients who sleep well. Additionally, sleep deficiency is a leading cause of automobile accidents. Driver sleepiness is responsible for 20% of all serious car crash injuries.
How is insomnia treated?
Your doctor at SLENT evaluates your medical history, sleep history, and current symptoms, and then does a thorough physical examination. Depending on the results, you may also need blood work or specialized testing such as a home sleep study.
If underlying conditions are identified, your treatment targets that problem. While your doctor may prescribe medications to help you sleep, they’re only a short-term fix and usually not the first line of treatment for chronic insomnia.
For all types of insomnia, making lifestyle changes can make a big difference. Keeping a regular sleep schedule, avoiding big meals and alcohol late at night, relaxation exercises, and turning off all electronics and lights go a long way toward promoting healthy sleep.
If you struggle with insomnia, the doctors at SLENT can help. Call one of the offices or schedule an appointment online.
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