a sleep disorder is defined as a medical disorder that disrupts sleep patterns. Some sleep disorders are so severe they can interfere with daily activities and how one functions emotionally, physically, and mentally.
Those who have a difficult time falling asleep have a sleep disorder called insomnia. It is also characterized by having trouble staying asleep. For people who suffer with insomnia, it usually takes them more than 30 minutes to fall asleep. They may also have some of the following symptoms:
Awakening too early
Not feeling well rested after sleeping
Feeling tired and sleepy during the day
Feeling irritable, depressed, or anxious
Making frequent mistakes or having accidents
Worry about sleep
Insomnia is not the same for everyone. It varies widely from person to person in how long insomnia lasts and how frequently it occurs. Acute insomnia is short-term lasting from just one night up to a couple of weeks while chronic insomnia can occur at least three nights a week up to one month or longer.
Some of the causes of insomnia include stress, anxiety, depression, medical conditions such as having an overactive thyroid, changes in the environment, and poor sleep habits. Prescription drugs can also interfere with sleep as well as caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol. Women are more likely than men to develop insomnia because of hormonal shifts during their menstrual cycle and during menopause.
Treatment options for insomnia include using relaxation techniques, cognitive behavioral therapy, establishing and maintaining good sleeping habits, and trying to stay awake in bed rather than worrying about falling asleep.
Making your appointment at the Sleep Lab at Sinai Medical Center is the first step to overcoming a sleep disorder. Call to schedule your appointment today.