sleepless women in bed suffering from insomnia

What is Insomnia?

Do you toss and turn all night, feeling groggy and exhausted the next morning? Maybe you go to bed at a decent hour but are unable to fall asleep. If this happens frequently, you could have insomnia.

Insomnia is difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. If you have it, it doesn’t matter how tired you are–a decent night of rest is still elusive.

It is incredibly common. In fact, according to the National Sleep Foundation, 30 percent of the general population have sleep issues, and 10 percent have sleep problems so intense that they could have insomnia.  

Do I Have Insomnia?

Many of us have sleepless nights, so what qualifies?

Insomnia means you have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, even when you feel tired. Sometimes, it may only last for a few days, but in severe cases, it can become a chronic problem. 

Those with insomnia typically feel:

  • Dissatisfied with their sleep
  • Fatigued
  • Low energy
  • Moody

They may also have difficulty concentrating, and as a result, their work or school performance suffers.

There are two types of insomnia: acute and chronic.

What Is Acute Insomnia?

Acute is generally caused by something that happens in your life. For example, you may not be able to sleep because you have an important job interview, test or presentation the next day. This is very common, and often it resolves without the need for any treatment.

What Is Chronic Insomnia?

It is considered chronic when it occurs at least three nights a week and lasts for a minimum of three months. 

How Do You Know if You Suffer From Insomnia?

While it affects different people in different ways, there are certain signs to watch for.

Some Common Insomnia Symptoms

Some common symptoms include:

  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Problems staying asleep
  • Waking up several times during the night
  • Arising too early
  • Feeling exhausted even after a night’s sleep
  • Daytime drowsiness
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory problems

In addition, the inability to sleep can also create stress surrounding your nighttime routine. 

What Causes Insomnia?

Some mental health issues, such as anxiety disorder or bipolar disorder can contribute to your symptoms. There are other causes as well. 

These can range from stress to a new work schedule to eating a heavy meal late in the evening. Poor sleep habits—such as watching TV, drinking a lot of caffeine or using a computer right before bed—can also lead to insomnia.

Medical issues, such as prescription drugs, GERD, heart disease, asthma and chronic pain are other possibilities.

It is also more common as you age because your sleep patterns change. 

How Can Mental Health Professionals Help with Insomnia?

Those with anxiety, depression, ADHD, or bipolar disorder are particularly prone to it. Mental health professionals and psychiatrists are uniquely qualified to understand how these conditions affect brain chemistry, which in turn can contribute to insomnia.

Is it treatable?

There are several different ways to treat this disorder, and we tailor an approach that is right for you. 

Not all of these treatments involve medications. In many cases, using good sleep hygiene or practicing meditation can help.

However, if medication is needed, we’ll work closely with you in order to determine what is most effective.

Raleigh Psychiatric Associates Provides Relief  

Sleep difficulties can affect your physical and mental health, and that’s why we want to provide help and lasting relief.  We provide compassionate, quality psychiatric services that incorporate goal-oriented treatment strategies. 

These can include:

  • Medication
  • Over-the-counter sleep aids. 
  • Solution-focused therapy
  • Behavioral therapy and sleep hygiene approaches
  • Supportive counseling

If you have difficulty sleeping or have other symptoms of insomnia, feel free to contact us for an appointment today.