Insomnia is difficulty initiating sleep, difficulty maintaining sleep, waking up too early, or sleep that is chronically non-restorative or poor in quality. Though everyone has trouble falling asleep once in a while, more than 70 million individuals have trouble with insomnia. Insomnia may be a symptom of another problem, such as depression or a physical ailment. Some lifestyle habits contribute to insomnia such as drinking caffeinated beverages or alcohol before bedtime, smoking, and lack of exercise or an erratic work schedule.
Many people try over-the-counter sleeping pills to combat insomnia, but the medication loses effectiveness after several weeks and should not be used without the advice of a physician. Keeping a sleep diary may help pinpoint possible causes of insomnia. For people whose insomnia has lasted more than a month, they should contact their physician.
Initially the cause of the insomnia must be identified. Many times insomnia is related to poor sleep hygiene or sleep habits. This can be corrected by working with the person to improve their sleep habits.
Sometimes an individual needs more specific behavioral therapy called cognitive behavior therapy, which is performed through the Behavioral health department. Medications are at times also necessary in the treatment of insomnia.