Insomnia: Diagnosis and Treatment (Medical Psychiatry Series)

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Doctors generally don't recommend relying on prescription sleeping pills for more than a few weeks, but several medications are approved for long-term use. Prescription sleeping pills can have side effects, such as causing daytime grogginess and increasing the risk of falling, or they can be habit-forming, so talk to your doctor about these medications and other possible side effects. Nonprescription sleep medications contain antihistamines that can make you drowsy, but they're not intended for regular use.


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Talk to your doctor before you take these, as antihistamines may cause side effects, such as daytime sleepiness, dizziness, confusion, cognitive decline and difficulty urinating, which may be worse in older adults. Explore Mayo Clinic studies testing new treatments, interventions and tests as a means to prevent, detect, treat or manage this disease.

No matter what your age, insomnia usually is treatable. The key often lies in changes to your routine during the day and when you go to bed.


  • Where I Was From.
  • Insomnia: Diagnosis and Treatment - CRC Press Book!
  • Types of insomnia.
  • Sleep Disorders | Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA.

These tips may help. Many people never visit their doctor for insomnia and try to cope with sleeplessness on their own. Although in many cases safety and effectiveness have not been proved, some people try therapies such as:. Because the Food and Drug Administration does not mandate that manufacturers show proof of effectiveness or safety before marketing dietary supplement sleep aids, talk with your doctor before taking any herbal supplements or other OTC products.


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  8. Some products can be harmful and some can cause harm if you're taking certain medications. If you're having sleep problems, you'll likely start by talking to your primary care doctor. Ask if there's anything you need to do in advance, such as keep a sleep diary.

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    Take your bed partner along, if possible. Your doctor may want to talk to your partner to learn more about how much and how well you're sleeping. Insomnia care at Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission. This content does not have an English version.

    This content does not have an Arabic version. Diagnosis Depending on your situation, the diagnosis of insomnia and the search for its cause may include: Physical exam.

    Psychiatrist, Sleep Medicine Specialist: Sushrusha Arjyal, MD

    If the cause of insomnia is unknown, your doctor may do a physical exam to look for signs of medical problems that may be related to insomnia. Occasionally, a blood test may be done to check for thyroid problems or other conditions that may be associated with poor sleep. Sleep habits review. In addition to asking you sleep-related questions, your doctor may have you complete a questionnaire to determine your sleep-wake pattern and your level of daytime sleepiness.

    You may also be asked to keep a sleep diary for a couple of weeks. Sleep study. If the cause of your insomnia isn't clear, or you have signs of another sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome, you may need to spend a night at a sleep center. Tests are done to monitor and record a variety of body activities while you sleep, including brain waves, breathing, heartbeat, eye movements and body movements.

    More Information Insomnia care at Mayo Clinic Insomnia treatment: Cognitive behavioral therapy instead of sleeping pills Prescription sleeping pills: What's right for you? Ambien: Is dependence a concern? Biofeedback Cognitive behavioral therapy Light therapy Show More. Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic. Share on: Facebook Twitter. References Riggin, EA. Allscripts EPSi.

    Insomnia: Diagnosis and Treatment

    Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 21, What is insomnia? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Accessed Sept. Stress and anxiety may cause sleeping problems or make existing problems worse. And having an anxiety disorder exacerbates the problem. Sleep disorders are characterized by abnormal sleep patterns that interfere with physical, mental, and emotional functioning.

    Stress or anxiety can cause a serious night without sleep, as do a variety of other problems. Insomnia is the clinical term for people who have trouble falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, waking too early in the morning, or waking up feeling unrefreshed. Other common sleep disorders include sleep apnea loud snoring caused by an obstructed airway , sleepwalking, and narcolepsy falling asleep spontaneously. Restless leg syndrome and bruxism grinding of the teeth while sleeping are conditions that also may contribute to sleep disorders.

    Emotional processing

    Either one. Anxiety causes sleeping problems, and new research suggests sleep deprivation can cause an anxiety disorder. Research also shows that some form of sleep disruption is present in nearly all psychiatric disorders. Studies also show that people with chronic insomnia are at high risk of developing an anxiety disorder. The risks of inadequate sleep extend way beyond tiredness.

    Insomnia: Diagnosis and Treatment - CRC Press Book

    Sleeplessness can lead to poor performance at work or school, increased risk of injury, and health problems. In addition to anxiety and mood disorders, those with sleep disorders are risk for heart disease, heart failure, irregular heartbeat, heart attack, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and obesity. If you suspect you have a sleep disorder, visit a primary care physician, mental health professional, or sleep disorders clinic.

    Treatment options include sleep medicine and cognitive-behavior therapy , which teaches how to identify and modify behaviors that perpetuate sleeping problems. Treatment options for an anxiety disorder also include cognitive-behavior therapy, as well as relaxation techniques, and medication. Your doctor or therapist may recommend one or a combination of these treatments.

    Learn more about treatment options. Find a Therapist who treats anxiety disorders. Find a sleep disorders clinic.

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    ADAA is not a direct service organization. ADAA does not provide psychiatric, psychological, or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. For the Public For Professionals. Breadcrumb Understand the Facts. Sleep Disorders. Health Risks The risks of inadequate sleep extend way beyond tiredness. Treatment If you suspect you have a sleep disorder, visit a primary care physician, mental health professional, or sleep disorders clinic. Focus on your breath — breathe in and out slowly and deeply — and visualize a serene environment such as a deserted beach or grassy hill.

    Regular exercise is good for your physical and mental health. It provides an outlet for frustrations and releases mood-enhancing endorphins. Yoga can be particularly effective at reducing anxiety and stress.