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Insomnia

Finding the Best Course of Treatment for You

Tossing and turning when all you want to do is drift pleasantly off to dreamland is one of life’s more frustrating — and common — experiences. Approximately 30 percent of adults experience insomnia symptoms, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

Insomnia refers to difficulty falling or staying asleep. It can be acute —lasting for one night to a few weeks — or it can be chronic, continuing for months. It can also come and go over time. 

Insomnia has many triggers:

  • Stressful life events, such as an illness or job loss
  • Environmental factors, such as too much noise or light in the bedroom
  • Poor sleep hygiene — bedtime habits that do not promote sleep
  • An underlying condition, such as depression or acid reflux
  • Chronic pain
  • Medications or supplements
  • Overuse of stimulants, such as caffeine or nicotine
  • Pregnancy

Regardless of the cause, insomnia is more than just an annoyance. A consistent lack of sleep can negatively affect personal relationships, make it hard to concentrate at work or school and weaken your immune system. MultiCare’s sleep medicine specialists partner with you to identify the cause of your insomnia and form a treatment plan that will help you get the quality rest you need.

Symptoms

Insomnia knows no boundaries — it can affect anyone. However, women, the elderly and shift-workers are at greater risk for experiencing insomnia. Common symptoms include: 

  • Trouble falling asleep
  • Frequent night-waking and difficulty going back to sleep
  • Waking up too early
  • Feeling un-refreshed upon waking
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering
  • Irritability or other mood problems

Treatment Options

If you suspect you have insomnia, you may need to undergo a sleep study in one of MultiCare’s state-of-the-art sleep centers. Our specialists will review your study results and work with you to understand what’s causing your insomnia and find the best course of treatment for you. Common treatment options include:

Improving Sleep Hygiene: Forming habits that support sleep, such as establishing a relaxing bedtime routine and limiting evening screen time, can go a long way toward curbing insomnia symptoms.

Diagnosing Underlying Conditions: Sometimes symptoms masquerading as insomnia are actually due to another health problem. For example, frequent night waking can be a result of sleep apnea or depression. Identifying and properly treating these conditions can eliminate insomnia.

Fixing Environmental Problems: Troubleshooting a poor quality sleep environment — for example a sagging mattress or a snoring bed partner — can ease insomnia symptoms.

Medications: Some over-the-counter or prescription sleep aids can be effective for tackling insomnia. Some are designed for short-term use only, while others can be taken for longer periods of time. Your sleep specialist will discuss these options with you. 

The specific treatment or treatments recommended for you will depend on the cause and severity of your insomnia, as well as your overall health.

See a Sleep Specialist

If you would like to be evaluated for a sleep concern, call to schedule an appointment with one of our locations. Note that some insurance policies require a doctor referral for our services. Check with your insurance before your appointment to verify your coverage.

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