Insomnia Treatment in Eugene, OR
Do you have a difficult time falling asleep and staying asleep? You might have insomnia. Insomnia is a sleep disorder that is characterized by the inability to fall asleep and can be detrimental to your quality of life.
Insomnia can steal your energy, make you feel lethargic all the time, and it affects your mood, overall health, and your work performance. It’s not uncommon for adults to experience insomnia from time to time after a stressful event or due to lifestyle influences. However, when insomnia is chronic and lasts for months at a time, you should seek treatment.
At Emerald Sleep Disorders Center, we can help you get your insomnia under control through an extensive medical assessment and testing, as well as coming up with lifestyle changes and other treatment plans.
What Causes Insomnia?
Typically, insomnia is a manifestation of psychological, medical, or lifestyle conditions. Due to nighttime discomfort or the medications used to treat them, the following medical conditions might be the source of your insomnia:
- Respiratory disorders, like allergies, sinus infections, and chronic nasal issues can cause insomnia, making it too uncomfortable to fall asleep
- Gastrointestinal problems, like reflux and GERD can cause discomfort when trying to sleep
- Endocrine disorders, like hyperthyroidism.
- Brain disorders, like Parkinson’s disease
- Chronic pain
- Chronic back pain
- Hormone imbalances, including estrogen shifts during menses
Certain medications for treating these medical conditions might also be the source of your insomnia - especially medications used to treat allergies, high blood pressure, and asthma.
Certain neurological disorders, like restless leg syndrome, can also make it difficult to fall asleep.
Another common sleep disorder that is linked to insomnia is sleep apnea. During episodes of sleep apnea, patients wake up for incremental times throughout the night, as their airways are obstructed causing breathing issues.
Psychological Causes of Insomnia
Some of the most common causes of insomnia are mental health related. Two of the main mental illnesses that cause insomnia are depression and anxiety -
- Depression and insomnia: Psychological hardships can make it hard to sleep, leading to insomnia and more advanced psychiatric issues. Insomnia and depression play into one another, as insomnia can be a symptom of depressive disorders, while prolonged lack of sleep can lead to more severe depression. The symptoms of depression and insomnia are also incredibly similar, causing a lack of energy, interest, and motivation.
- Anxiety and insomnia: Oftentimes, adults have difficulty falling asleep, because they are worried or nervous. Anxiety symptoms can lead to insomnia, like feeling overstimulated, overwhelmed by responsibilities, worrying about the future, regretting thoughts about the past, and nervous tension. General anxiety can make it difficult to stay up at night, and it can make it difficult to fall back asleep when waking up in the middle of the night. Oftentimes, the inactivity and stillness of night time causes sufferers of anxiety to over think their fears, keeping the patient awake.
- Aging and insomnia: As you get older, you might experience changes in your sleep patterns and lighter sleep. Not to mention, most older patients are less physically and socially active. The lack of activity during the day can cause sleeplessness.
Beyond anxiety and depression, other psychological issues, like bipolar and schizophrenic disorder are also more prone to experience insomnia.
Lifestyle Causes of Insomnia
Beyond psychological and medical conditions, certain lifestyle factors can also lead to chronic anxiety. Patients that consume too much caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine often suffer from sleep disruptions.
As you’re probably aware, coffee, tea, soda, and other drinks with caffeine are stimulants. Consuming too much caffeine, especially late in the afternoon can prevent you from sleeping well at night.
Consuming tobacco products can also impede on your sleep, since the active ingredient, nicotine, is a stimulant. While alcohol can help you fall asleep, it gets in the way of reaching deeper stages of sleep, which causes you to wake up at night.
Symptoms of Insomnia
Most patients with insomnia are aware that they have it, since the symptoms are blatant. However, there are a lot of symptoms of insomnia that you might not realize are related to the disorder. The most common symptoms of insomnia include:
- Gastrointestinal symptoms
- Worrying about sleep
- Having trouble falling asleep at night
- Daytime fatigue and excessive sleepiness
- Depression, anger, anxiety, and a short temper
- Trouble socializing
- Gastrointestinal problems, like irritable bowel syndrome
- Loss of coordination with a higher risk of getting into accidents
- Tension headaches
- Waking up earlier than intended
Sleep deprivation from insomnia can cause a range of symptoms. For instance, you might not feel awake in the mornings, and you also might have a difficult time concentrating.
Complications from Not Treating Insomnia
Sleep is your body’s way of resetting itself, and a vital component for maintaining good health. In fact, it’s just as important to your health as physical activity and a healthy diet. People with untreated insomnia often experience a lower quality of life when compared to those that get a full amount of sleep. Some of the primary risk of leaving your insomnia untreated include:
- Performance issues on the job or at school.
- A delayed reaction time while driving, or in the event of an accident
- Increased risk of developing mental illnesses, like depression, anxiety, or substance problems.
- Increased risk of developing long-term health conditions, like high blood pressure and heart disease, leading to a higher risk of heart attack and stroke.
At Emerald Sleep Disorders Center, our experienced physicians will diagnose your insomnia after taking a comprehensive history of your medical history and sleeping habits. We will perform a physical exam to determine any physical issues that might be causing your insomnia. We also might screen for psychiatric disorders that could be disturbing your sleep, especially drug and alcohol abuse.
In order to be diagnosed with insomnia, your symptoms must persist with over a month of disturbed sleep with a negative impact on your overall well being, mood, and performance. During our initial assessment, we will look for underlying conditions that might be causing your insomnia. We also might perform more sophisticated tests to get a better idea of your insomnia.
Treatment Options for Insomnia
Treating insomnia is fairly straightforward, but will require some commitment on your part. During your treatment, we will recommend behavioral counseling and medication. Beyond medication, there are a number of lifestyle changes you can take to improve your sleep, including:
- Improve your sleeping habits. Put yourself on a rigorous sleeping schedule. Avoid caffeine at night. If you can try to quit smoking and make sure that you’re sleeping in a comfortable environment. Try to get earplugs and a sleep mask to help minimize environmental stimulation. You should also avoid taking naps during the day.
- Try meditation and other relaxation techniques. Using relaxation techniques like aromatherapy and meditation can help relax your muscles and mind before bed, so that you’re more equipped to go to sleep.
- Try cognitive therapy. If your insomnia is caused by anxiety or depression, cognitive therapy with a counselor can help you learn techniques for staying on top of your mental illness and insomnia.
- Restrict your sleep during the day. Oftentimes, people with insomnia will take naps to make up for their lack of sleep at night. By depriving your body of sleep during the day, you can increase your tiredness for night time.
Schedule an Appointment at Emerald Sleep Disorders Center
Are you having trouble sleeping at night? You might have insomnia. At Emerald Sleep Disorders Center, our experienced physicians will evaluate your sleep disorder and formulate a treatment plan to help you achieve healthy sleep. Stop living in a fog with your insomnia and schedule an appointment with our sleep specialists today at 541-683-3325.