What Is Insomnia?
There are three types of insomnia:
What Are Symptoms and Signs of Insomnia?
Symptoms and signs of insomnia include the following:
What Causes Insomnia?
Insomnia may be caused by multiple factors. The main cause of insomnia is believed to be a state of mental and/or physical hyperarousal that interferes with falling asleep or staying asleep.
Causes of insomnia include:
- Changes in sleeping environment
- Loss of a loved one
- Loss of a pet
- Job loss
- Illnesses, especially those that cause stress or difficulty breathing
- Unhealthy lifestyle habits
- Use of or withdrawal from some medications and illegal drugs
- Irregular sleep habits
- Irregular sleep schedules that disrupt the circadian rhythm
- Jet lag
- Shift work
- Mental health problems
- Neurological disorders
- Other sleep disorders
- Disrupted breathing
- Nighttime urinary frequency
- Restless leg syndrome
- Age: teenagers and elderly experience insomnia more frequently
- May not have a known cause
How Do Doctors Diagnose Insomnia?
Sleep disorders are diagnosed with a patient history and physical exam. Tests or procedures that may be used to diagnose sleep disorders or to rule out other underlying conditions include the following:
- Daily sleep log
- Sleep study (polysomnography)
- Record of activity and movement with a monitor or motion detector, generally worn on the wrist throughout the day and night (actigraphy)
- Home sleep apnea testing
- Home devices that monitor breathing, oxygen saturation, position, and heart rate
- Melatonin sampling
- Core body temperature measurements
- Hormone tests
- Electrocardiogram (ECG)
- Computerized tomography (CT) scan
- Pulmonary function tests
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain
What Is the Treatment for Insomnia?
Treatment for insomnia includes the following:
Martin, Jennifer L., and David N. Neubauer. "Patient education: Insomnia treatments (Beyond the Basics)." UpToDate.com. Jan. 30, 2022. <https://www.uptodate.com/contents/insomnia-treatments-beyond-the-basics>.
"Sleep Disorders." American Academy of Sleep Medicine. <http://sleepeducation.org/essentials-in-sleep>.
Suni, Eric. "What Causes Insomnia?" American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Aug. 29, 2022. <https://www.sleepfoundation.org/insomnia/what-causes-insomnia>.