Insomnia

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.