Insomnia: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Management
Are you having sleep issues such as difficulty sleeping, sleepiness in the daytime, anxiety, or lack of attention? These symptoms can be an indication of an underlying sleep disorder known as insomnia. There are many physical, environmental, and psychological factors that contribute to developing insomnia. For more information, contact us or schedule an appointment online. Psychiatry of the Palm Beaches serving patients in Boynton Beach, Palm Beach Garden, Stuart, and Wellington FL.
Table of Contents:
Is insomnia a mental illness?
What is the main cause of insomnia?
What are the 3 types of insomnia?
When should I talk to my therapist about insomnia?
Sleep allows your bodily functions to rest and recharge for each coming day. As such, it is important to make sure you are getting enough sleep each night, although that can be easier said than done if you are dealing with insomnia. With that in mind, our medical professionals at Psychiatry of the Palm Beaches would be pleased to evaluate your symptoms and provide any necessary treatment to help you overcome insomnia.
While insomnia can be an isolated mental illness, it is only diagnosed as such in rare cases. As such, insomnia is more often a secondary symptom of a medical condition. With that being said, insomnia is commonly a symptom of a mental illness, such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Insomnia is considered a constant state of hyperarousal, where one has difficulty staying or falling asleep. The most common causes of insomnia include stress, poor sleep habits, eating too much late in the evening, a travel or work schedule that disrupts one’s circadian rhythms, as well as various mental health conditions. Insomnia typically occurs due to disrupted circadian rhythms, which function as your internal clock and regulate your sleep-wake cycle.
In addition to the causes of insomnia listed above, some other causes include the following:
● Alcohol, caffeine, or nicotine
● Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
● Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
● Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
● Certain medications, such as anti-asthma medications, antidepressants, or blood pressure medication
● Chronic pain conditions
● Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
● Overactive thyroid, also known as hyperthyroidism
● Restless leg syndrome
The three types of insomnia are known as acute, transient, and chronic. The symptoms and characteristics of each type of insomnia are as follows:
Acute insomnia, also known as adjustment insomnia,
● Occurs as a result of circumstantial stress
● Lasts less than three months
● Most common type of insomnia
● Usually resolves itself once the stressor or trigger is no longer present or is adapted to Transient insomnia
● Lasts less than one week
● Often occurs as a result of another disorder, changes in one’s sleep environment, depression, traveling, or stress Chronic insomnia
● Commonly associated with a medical or mental health condition
● Lasts longer than three months or occurs at least three nights per week
● Often develops out of transient or acute insomnia
● Patients with chronic insomnia typically have an underlying risk of insomnia
In addition to the three main types of insomnia described above, there are several other ways of classifying insomnia. Some of these include primary or secondary insomnia, according to whether the condition occurs on its own (primary) or due to another condition (secondary), as well as sleep-onset insomnia, sleep maintenance insomnia, or early morning awakening insomnia, depending on what time of the night the insomnia is most prevalent.
If insomnia persists despite efforts to improve your sleep habits, you should talk to your doctor about your experience with insomnia. Your doctor can provide tests to determine the cause of insomnia and also find ways to treat insomnia. You can also talk to your doctor anytime for guidance about how to improve your sleep habits. With that in mind, additional signs that you should talk to your doctor about insomnia include
● Consistent difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
● Habitually waking up earlier than you want
● Insomnia symptoms last longer than four weeks or regularly disrupt your ability to function throughout the day
● Kept up throughout the night due to physical pain
● Often have excessive fatigue throughout the day
● Rarely feel refreshed after sleep
● Symptoms begin after starting a new medication
If you seek treatment or diagnosis for insomnia or other psychiatric conditions, visit Psychiatry of the Palm Beaches serving patients in Boynton Beach, Palm Beach Garden, Stuart, and Wellington FL. For more information, contact us or schedule an appointment online. We also serve patients from Boynton Beach FL, Palm Beach Gardens FL, Stuart FL, Wellington FL, Jupiter FL, Lake Worth FL, West Palm Beach FL, Delray Beach FL, Riviera Beach FL, Century Village FL, Lake Park FL, Forth Piece North FL, Lakewood Park FL, Westlake, FL, Loxahatchee Groves FL, North Palm Beach FL, and surrounding areas.
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