If you suffer from insomnia, you are not alone. One in 10 adults suffer from this sleep disorder, as well as its side effects, which include chronic fatigue, disruption of sleep-wake cycles, drowsiness and stress. At Henry Ford, our Sleep Disorders Center is here to help with your issues of falling asleep, staying asleep and not getting restorative sleep on a regular basis. 

Insomnia symptoms

If you haven’t yet, you will most likely experience insomnia at some point during your life. Have you ever had difficulty falling asleep the night before a big life event, such as an interview? This type of infrequent insomnia is nothing to worry about, as it usually goes away on its own.

Insomnia becomes a health concern when sleep is disrupted at least three nights a week for several months. If you suffer from chronic insomnia, it may take you at least a half an hour to fall asleep, and most people get fewer than six hours of sleep a night on a regular basis. If you have chronic insomnia, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Daytime fatigue or sleepiness
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Feeling tired, even after sleeping all night
  • Frequent waking during the night
  • Irritability or other mood disturbances
  • Trouble concentrating or decreased performance at work or school
  • Waking up too early in the morning

Insomnia causes and treatment

Treatment for insomnia may depend on the cause, especially if your symptoms are related to other sleep-related disorders such as sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome. Other causes of insomnia may include:

  • A change in health, activity level or sleep patterns
  • Changes in environment or work shift
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Eating too much late in the evening
  • Long-term use of sleep medications
  • Medical conditions that cause pain
  • Stimulants, such as prescription drugs, over-the-counter pain medications, decongestants, weight loss products or others
  • Stress

While there is no definitive cure for insomnia, the Henry Ford Sleep Disorders Center offers two main courses of treatment:

  • Behavioral Treatment: Behavioral therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) are used to teach patients new sleep behaviors.
  • Medication: Some type of sleep medication may be needed to manage your insomnia. At Henry Ford, we often use a combination of these therapies. Medication is usually used until the benefits from behavioral therapies become noticeable.