FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT INSOMNIA

 

See answers to common insomnia questions.

Many things can cause insomnia. Several studies of insomnia have highlighted the importance of good sleep habits, but studies have shown that chemical messenger activity in the sleep and wake systems of the brain can play a key role as well. The wake system sends signals that help you wake up in the morning and stay awake during the day. The sleep system sends signals that help you fall and stay asleep at night, but if your wake system stays active when it isn't supposed to, your sleep system might not be able to take over when you would like to sleep. Talk to your health care professional about what may be causing your insomnia.

Talk to your health care professional about what you’re experiencing. Also, take a look at your sleep habits. Some of your habits may be unintentionally stimulating your wake system and encouraging it to stay active when it’s time for bed.

Yes. Some behaviors and environmental factors can contribute to your inability to fall asleep or stay asleep, such as not having a regular sleep and wake routine, or eating or drinking too much before bedtime.

Chronic insomnia may not go away without treatment. Insomnia is a complex health condition, so it is vital to talk to your health care professional about ways to manage your insomnia.

Here are some terms used to describe insomnia:

  • Insomnia disorder: What was once called primary insomnia is now called insomnia disorder, which is a condition that affects sleep quantity or quality. Insomnia can also be associated with other conditions.
  • Acute insomnia: Short-term insomnia that is usually caused by a life event, such as a stressful change in a person's job, receiving bad news, or travel. Symptoms for this condition last for less than a month.
  • Chronic insomnia: Long-term insomnia that can have many different causes. Insomnia is considered chronic if a person has trouble falling asleep or staying asleep at least 3 nights per week for 3 months or longer.
  • Onset insomnia: Difficulty falling asleep at the beginning of the night.
  • Maintenance insomnia: Waking up frequently throughout the night.

Yes, certain medications can affect your ability to fall asleep or stay asleep. Talk to your health care professional if you think any medicines you’re taking may be affecting your ability to sleep. You should not discontinue a medication without first discussing it with your health care professional.

Your Health Care Professional can Help Identify What's Causing Your Insomnia, Potential Treatment Options, and Other Ways to Take Action

If you are struggling with insomnia,
talk to your health care professional.

Your health care professional can help identify what’s causing your insomnia, potential treatment options, and other ways to take action.

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