Insomnia is a condition that makes it difficult to fall or stay asleep. You may wake up multiple times during the night or wake up too early and not be able to fall back asleep.
Insomnia is considered acute when it only occurs for a brief period of time, especially if you’re stressed out or anxious before going to bed. With chronic insomnia, you experience extended periods of disrupted sleep that continue for at least three nights and last for at least three months.
Chronic insomnia may be the result of:
Medications for high blood pressure, allergies, depression, and asthma can cause difficulty sleeping. These medications can result in chronic insomnia, especially if you take them on a long-term basis.
If you work a rotating or irregular schedule, or you aren’t sticking to a healthy sleep schedule, insomnia can result. You may also find it hard to fall asleep at night if you frequently nap in the afternoons.
If you suffer from sleep apnea, you may be more likely to experience insomnia. Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes your airway to become blocked during sleep and results in a drop in your oxygen levels and pauses in your breathing.
Insomnia can also be a symptom of underlying medical conditions or psychiatric disorders, such as anxiety, allergies, arthritis, thyroid conditions, and chronic pain. Excessive stress and worry can make sleeping difficult and lead to chronic insomnia.
You may develop chronic insomnia if you use nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, or drugs, especially close to bedtime. Eating heavy meals before going to bed can make it difficult for your body to relax and stay asleep. If you’re overwhelmed by stress, it can lead to chronic insomnia issues.
Dr. Thampoe conducts a comprehensive physical exam to determine if any underlying medical conditions are causing your insomnia. She creates a treatment plan based on the results of the diagnostic testing to help you manage your sleep patterns.
For chronic insomnia, Dr. Thampoe may recommend prescription medications. She typically uses these medications for treatment on a short-term basis until you can regulate your sleep on your own.
Prescription sleep medications may cause side effects such as balance issues and daytime sleepiness. Dr. Thampoe discusses all possible side effects and reviews your medical history before prescribing medication.
Book an appointment online or by calling West Houston Internal Medicine for more information.
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