Insomnia

Insomnia Specialist
About 10% of adults in the United States have a chronic insomnia disorder, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. The Sound Sleep Health medical team of neurologists, sleep medicine specialists, and insomnia specialists have many years of experience treating patients with insomnia. If you have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, you might have insomnia. Call the Sound Sleep Health team or book your appointment online to visit one of the three locations in Kirkland and Seattle, Washington.

Insomnia Q&A

What is insomnia?

If you have trouble falling or staying asleep, you may have insomnia. Some people suffer from difficulty falling asleep, while others may not be able to stay asleep. It’s frustrating to constantly experience poor-quality sleep, and chronic insomnia can negatively impact your daily life.

If you have insomnia, you may also experience symptoms that include:

  • Fatigue
  • Low energy
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating

Different types of insomnia are categorized by the duration of time your sleep is disrupted. If you experience insomnia a few times a month, you have short-term, or acute insomnia. Chronic insomnia occurs if your sleep problems happen three nights a week or more for longer than one month.

What causes insomnia?

You may experience insomnia for a number of reasons. Acute insomnia often arises because of day-to-day stresses. If you’re anxious about an exam or depressed because of life circumstances, you may have trouble with your sleep schedule.

Other external circumstances, such drinking too much alcohol or caffeine, or experiencing jet lag, can lead to acute insomnia. Often, this insomnia is short-lived and resolves without treatment.

There are many lifestyle habits or medical conditions that can lead to long-term disrupted sleep. Common causes of chronic insomnia include:

  • Medications that interfere with sleep
  • Excessive use of electronic devices in the evening
  • Circadian rhythm out of regulation
  • Allergies to pollen, dust mites or food
  • Depression, anxiety and other psychiatric disorders
  • Snoring or sleep apnea
  • Pain or discomfort from arthritis, headaches and other causes
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Menopause
  • Overactive bowel or bladder
  • Neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s

In summary, insomnia is often caused by a lifestyle or medical factor. Luckily, once you determine the causation, it’s possible for you to gain better control over and improve your sleep schedule.

How is insomnia evaluated and diagnosed?

The experts at Sound Sleep Health provide a uniquely in-depth approach to insomnia, including a detailed assessment of your sleep habits and sleep environment. You’ll be sent home with a special device that records detailed information, including:

  • How long it takes to fall asleep
  • How many sleep cycles you complete
  • How deep and stable your sleep is
  • How long you sleep
  • How much time you spend awake
  • Your heart rate trend during sleep
  • Your body position during sleep
  • Whether you snore, and how loud

In some cases, you may be asked to do some additional testing, either in the home or in the comfortable, well-equipped Sleep Center at Sound Sleep Health. Occasionally, blood or urine testing may be required.

What are the treatments for insomnia?

The treatment of insomnia varies greatly depending on the cause and circumstances.

It’s always important to try to remove or change any factors that might be contributing to or worsening insomnia. The experts at Sound Sleep Health will develop an individualized treatment plan that starts with adjustments to your environment, medications and sleep schedule.

Certain types of insomnia respond well to a kind of guided therapy called cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-i). Sound Sleep Health can refer you to a trusted network of CBT-i therapists.

In some cases, insomnia can be managed using novel devices, including micro-current electrical stimulators, head cooling devices or specially designed sound generators. The experts at Sound Sleep Health can discuss these effective non-medication approaches with you.

In more severe cases of insomnia where medication may be needed, the providers at Sound Sleep Health are careful to select therapies that are non-addictive and that minimize side effects.

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