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Insomnia (cont.)

Insomnia Medical Therapies

Insomnia from shift changes

  • Behavioral therapy has been useful in modifying the insomnia and symptoms of sleep deprivation in shift workers.
  • A person should shift their schedules forward in a clockwise direction, from days to evening, then evenings to night shift, and allow sufficient time to adapt (at least one week) between shift changes.
  • Bright light is a potent stimulus to circadian rhythm. Bright light is being examined as a rhythm synchronizer.
  • Shift workers should stress the importance of good sleep habits with regular bedtime and awakening.
    • Supplemental naps may be necessary to ensure work time alertness.
    • Discuss the use of naps with a doctor.
    • Some people promote using short-acting sedatives in the first few days following a shift change, but not everyone agrees.

Insomnia from Acute Stresses

  • Stress may be positive or negative, and concerns about sleep may vary. Many stressors will go away with support and reassurance.
  • Education about the importance of good sleep habits is also helpful.
  • Some people may need short-term treatment with medications. A doctor will often work toward the lowest effective dose with a short-acting sedative to achieve proper sleep.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/8/2014

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Insomnia is defined as repeated difficulty with the initiation, duration, maintenance, or quality of sleep that occurs despite adequate time and opportunity for sleep that results in some form of daytime impairment.

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