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Insomnia is a common problem in the United States and other industrialized nations around the world.
It is estimated that up to one-third of the United States population has insomnia.
So what is insomnia, exactly? Insomnia is typically defined as difficulty either falling asleep, staying asleep, or both.
It can also involve early morning awakenings with trouble falling back to sleep.
It can be caused by stress, anxiety, depression, poor sleep hygiene, environmental factors, certain medical illnesses and medications, or other sleep disorders such as restless legs syndrome, periodic limb movements, sleep apnea, circadian rhythm disorders, shift work disorder, or narcolepsy.
To help you figure out if you have insomnia, read through the following descriptions and see if they apply to you.
Transient insomnia is short-term in nature. It is often due to stressful situations in your life, such as a new job, break-up in a relationship, or the death of a loved one. It can also be caused by illnesses, certain medications, and environmental circumstances. Short-term, or transient, insomnia typically lasts between a few days and a few weeks, but it can still be a time of frustration. It is common to experience transient insomnia at some point in your life and it doesn’t mean that it’s going to last forever. The important thing is not to let it turn into a chronic problem.
Psychophysiological or conditioned insomnia is a learned-type of insomnia that lasts more than a month. People with conditioned insomnia often describe feeling “wide awake” when they get into bed at night, even though they were tired beforehand. You may feel like your mind just won’t stop when you get into bed, and so as a result, you spend a lot of time lying in bed each night but not sleeping. This type of insomnia is reinforced by both your behaviors and thoughts, both of which may be making your sleep problem worse. Poor sleep can then affect your mood, daily functioning, and overall health.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to be an effective way of overcoming your insomnia, and it doesn’t involve taking any sleep medications.
If you think that you have insomnia, it is important to get the help you need.
A sleep specialist with training in cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia is a good place to start.
You can call my office at (954) 873-6683 if you are interested in setting up an appointment.
Another option you may wish to consider is my insomnia book,
The Insomnia Workbook: The Comprehensive Guide to Getting the Sleep You Need, which can provide you with the necessary tools for overcoming your insomnia.
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