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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
What is insomnia?
Insomnia is a condition that makes it hard to fall or stay asleep. Lack of sleep can lead to attention or memory problems during the day. You may also be moody, depressed, clumsy, or have headaches.
What increases my risk for insomnia?
- Older age
- Stress or worry
- A medical condition, such as sleep apnea, GERD, COPD, or asthma
- A mental health condition, such as depression or anxiety
- Blood pressure medicines or antidepressants
- Odd work schedules or frequent travel
How is insomnia diagnosed?
Your healthcare provider will ask when your symptoms began and how often you cannot sleep. He or she will ask if you take any medicines that can cause insomnia, such as blood pressure medicine. He or she will ask if you have a medical condition, such as GERD, or a mental health condition, such as depression. You may also take a survey about your sleep.
How is insomnia treated?
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) helps you find ways to relax, decrease stress, and improve sleep.
- Medicines may help you sleep more regularly or help you feel less anxious. Take them as directed.
What can I do to improve my sleep?
- Create a sleep schedule. Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same times every day. Keep a record of your sleep patterns, and any sleeping problems you have. Bring the record to follow-up visits with healthcare providers.
- Do not take naps. Naps could make it hard for you to fall asleep at bedtime.
- Keep your bedroom cool, quiet, and dark. Turn on white noise, such as a fan, to help you relax. Do not use your bed for any activity that will keep you awake. Do not read, exercise, eat, or watch TV in your bedroom.
- Get up if you do not fall asleep within 20 minutes. Move to another room and do something relaxing until you become sleepy.
- Limit caffeine, alcohol, and food to earlier in the day. Only drink caffeine in the morning. Do not drink alcohol within 6 hours of bedtime. Do not eat a heavy meal right before you go to bed.
- Exercise regularly. Daily exercise may help you sleep better. Do not exercise within 4 hours of bedtime.
When should I contact my healthcare provider?
- Your symptoms do not get better, or they get worse.
- You begin to use drugs or alcohol to fall asleep.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Care AgreementYou have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
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