Sunday, January 23, 2011

Still Tired?

Insomnia is a common complaint. Some symptoms of insomnia are difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, and difficulty with early morning awakening. Sometimes insomnia only lasts for a short time and can be easily managed. Persistent insomnia is more troublesome and can affect work, school, social relation-ships, and health. Many conditions are associated with insomnia such as depression, anxiety, allergies, and pain. Much of the time insomnia is simply the result of poor sleep habits. 
How Is Insomnia Treated? 
Insomnia treatment in adults may include use of an over-the-counter medication or, in other cases, use of a prescription sedative. It is important to determine the cause of insomnia before treatment begins. Maintaining a sleep diary for one to two weeks is a good way to start. Keeping track of sleep times, caffeine and alcohol ingestion, etc. may provide clues as to the cause of insomnia. Behavioral changes are often all that's needed to improve sleep. By maintaining good sleep habits the need for medication may be avoided. 
What If Non-drug Treatment Fails?
If you are still having difficulty getting a good night's sleep, you should talk to your PCM or NCM. The cause of your insomnia will need to be determined and a medication may be needed. Even if medication is used for insomnia, sleep hygiene principles should still be followed and can provide added benefit.

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