Among the most common conditions that affect the general population is sleep disorders such as insomnia. It is characterized as having a difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, even when presented with the opportunity to sleep. Individuals with insomnia tend to feel dissatisfied with their amount of sleep and regularly experience one or more of the following symptoms: fatigue, low energy, difficulty concentrating, mood disturbances, and decreased performance in work or at school.
Sleep initiation and maintenance difficulties have been associated with mood disturbance, fatigue, occupational impairment, higher morbidity and higher health care costs. Individuals with insomnia, often do not seek treatment, and when they do, they typically initiate over-the-counter sleep medications or alcohol.
Surveys have reported that as many as one-third (30 – 40 percent) of the general U.S. population suffers from insomnia; about 10-15 percent of all U.S. adults report having severe and chronic insomnia that affects their daytime functioning (defined, in this study, as insomnia that lasted for at least 30 days).
Effectively Treating Your Condition
Patients usually use medication to improve their quality of sleep. Occasionally, after evaluation, the decision for medication-assisted treatment may be appropriate. Dr. Alhusein can guide patients utilizing medication in the short-term to reform healthy sleep habits. Nevertheless, he strongly affirms that sleep aids should only be used to treat acute insomnia. For chronic insomnia patients, he can recommend a trusted therapist with experience treating sleep disorders. Treating any underlying conditions as well as the sleep disorder is essential for long-term results.
The most common treatment method for insomnia is cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I)4. CBT-I typically entails both behavioral modifications, such as establishing a sleep schedule, and cognitive strategies that manage a patient's reaction to their insomnia.
Creating an environment that encourages a healthy sleep pattern
In addition, with the use of medication and therapy, proper sleep hygiene is imperative to helping to acquire a good nights rest including:
- Cool temperature
- No T.V. in the bedroom
- Patients should also avoid engaging in various activities in bed, such as using a tablet, so that they associate the space with sleeping. If you cannot rest, it is imperative that you do not lie in bed for long durations as this can reinforce anxiety surrounding the issue.
- No phone near your bed