The Blahnik Insomnia Quiz
While the quizzes will never serve as a substitute for a physicians criteria for diagnosis, nor ask all the relevant questions to diagnose it at all, they still serve a purpose. By taking an insomnia quiz, you can examine all the answers you give and determine whether you should see your primary care physician and get a proper diagnosis. To that end, we have prepared a small-scale quiz for just that purpose.
If you answered yes to questions 3 or 7, you should seek a diagnosis from your primary care physician for insomnia or other sleep disorders. If you answered yes to at least 3 of the other questions, you might want to consider seeking out an official diagnosis but should not be too surprised if you simply need to adjust your sleep schedule instead.
It is vital to note that this quiz is not foolproof nor a confirmation of a self-diagnosis of insomnia, but more of a guideline to whether you should seek out a diagnosis from your primary care physician.
What Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider About Insomnia
If you have insomnia, you may want to ask your healthcare provider:
- Am I taking any medications keeping me awake?
- What changes can I make to sleep better?
- How does cognitive behavioral therapy improve sleep?
- How do I find a therapist?
- Could I have other sleep disorders like sleep apnea?
If you’re suffering from insomnia, don’t hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider for help. They may offer tips for managing issues that interfere with your sleep. Many people with insomnia rest better after changing their diet, lifestyle and nighttime routines. Or they may also recommend medications or cognitive behavioral therapy.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/15/2020.
The Stages Of Sleep Cycle
Prior to seeking to know the treatment for sleep issues and issues, understanding the phases of sleep is advantageous. Much of the time, we go through five phases of sleep.
We float in and out and are effortlessly stirred. Our eyes move gradually, and our muscles become less dynamic.
Our eyes quit moving and our mind waves quiet down, with irregular eruptions of quick waves known as sleep axles.
Prolonged sleep: Delta waves, which are especially lethargic cerebrum waves, emerge in the middle of more modest, quicker waves.
Sleeping Disorder Issues
Prolonged sleep: Delta waves are generally delivered by the mind. There are no muscle developments or eye developments.
Phase5: Rapid eye development sleep Breathing turns out to be more sporadic, shallow, and speedy. The muscles in the appendages become momentarily prepared when the eyes jerk quickly. Dreams generally happen during this period, yet they can likewise occur during different phases of sleep.
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Extra Tips To Get Good Nights Sleep
- In the four to six hours before night, avoid caffeine, liquor, and nicotine.
- Practicing five or six hours before sleep time might support a superior evenings sleep.
- Dont sleep after 3 PM.
- Dont have a major feast two hours prior to heading to sleep.
- Sleep in a room that is dim, calm, and at an agreeable temperature.
- Take a quieting pre-sleep time custom, like a hot shower, delicate music, or perusing, in the 30 minutes before sleep time.
- Assuming that you cannot appear to nod off in a short time, go accomplish something serene and return to bed when youre tired.
- For more information, you can visit www.ushealthpharmacy.com
How Much Sleep Do I Need
The sleeping time needs of individuals are variable, and sleep times vary between kids and adults.
Some adults can vary in their sleep requirements from about 5 to as many as 10 hours per night. However, several studies have suggested the majority of normal adults average about 7 to 8 hours per night.
In general, the younger the person, the more sleep they need. For example, teenagers require about nine hours of sleep while infants require about 16 hours per night.
What Are The Treatments For Insomnia
Treatments include lifestyle changes, counseling, and medicines:
- Lifestyle changes, including good sleep habits, often help relieve acute insomnia. These changes might make it easier for you to fall asleep and stay asleep.
- A type of counseling called cognitive-behavioral therapy can help relieve the anxiety linked to chronic insomnia
- Several medicines also can help relieve your insomnia and allow you to re-establish a regular sleep schedule
If your insomnia is the symptom or side effect of another problem, it’s important to treat that problem .
NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Causes Of Insomnia: Pregnancy Menopause And Age
Other fairly common causes of insomnia are pregnancy, menopause, and age , all of which may be due to hormonal and other body chemistry changes. In addition, shift workers can develop problems because their sleep cycle is interrupted due to their irregular work schedule. Part of the reason for this development of insomnia is due to resetting of our internal body clock that controls the time of day that hormones are produced also, the timing of other routine body functions such as urination, defecation, and exposure to light and darkness are altered because of schedule changes.
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Common Treatment Types For Sleep Apnea
There are various ways sleep apnea can be treated, including:
CPAP Therapy. A CPAP machine is used to keep your airways open as you sleep. The machine uses mild air pressure and is attached to a mask or prongs that fit in your nose.
Alternatives. There are other alternatives if you dont like the idea of wearing a mask to bed. You can choose to:
- Wear a dental or oral appliance. To find out more, this article, Pros and Cons of Dental Sleep Apnea Treatment Devices, provides the ways in which an oral appliance can help patients with sleep apnea, as well as the shortcomings of a using a dental device for sleep apnea.
- Have surgery. If oral appliances and CPAP dont work for you, surgery is an option.
- Undergo a weight management program. Losing weight may help improve or eliminate your symptoms if youre obese or overweight.
- Try positional therapy. Some people primarily suffer from sleep apnea when they sleep on their back. Positional therapy often involves wearing a device that keeps you sleeping on your side.
How To Sleep Better: Reduce Technology Before Bed
Another aspect of good sleep hygiene is to reduce items that may stimulate you to think or act right before bedtime. Perhaps one of the best examples is late-night television. Some programming may increase mental alertness or cause you to think about subjects. Similar situations occur with children playing video games right before bed or teenagers and/or adults using computers, cell phones, or tablets.
Good sleep hygiene suggests you start reducing brain stimulation as you prepare to go to sleep. Sleep researchers suggest you stop using TV, video games, or the Internet about an hour or so before going to bed others suggest individuals should prepare for bed by reading and by prohibiting TVs or computer use in the bedroom.
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Treatment Of Chronic Insomnia
A number of at-home and professional treatment options are available for chronic insomnia. Treatment will depend on the cause of your insomnia and may involve medication or therapy to address an underlying condition.
Along with treating any existing conditions, your doctor may recommend one or a combination of treatment options for chronic insomnia.
What Medicines May Help With Sleep Disorders
Your healthcare provider may recommend some of the following medications and supplements:
- Sleep aids may be helpful in some cases of insomnia, including melatonin, zolpidem, zaleplon, eszopiclone, ramelteon, suvorexant, lamborexant, or doxepin.
- Restless legs syndrome can be treated with gabapentin, gabapentin enacarbil, or pregabalin.
- Narcolepsy may be treated with a number of stimulants or wake-promoting medications, such as modafinil, armodafinil, pitolisant and solriamfetol.
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General Tips For Sleeping Better
The following are commonly advised to help promote sleep in people with sleep difficulties, and may be all that is necessary:
- Reduce caffeine – do not have any food, medicines, or drinks that contain caffeine or other stimulants for six hours before bedtime . Some people have found that cutting out caffeine completely through the day has helped.
- Do not smoke within six hours before bedtime.
- Do not drink alcohol within six hours before bedtime.
- Do not have a heavy meal just before bedtime .
- Do not do any strenuous exercise within four hours of bedtime .
- Body rhythms – try to get into a routine of wakefulness during the day and sleepiness at night. The body becomes used to rhythms or routines. If you keep to a pattern, you are more likely to sleep well. Therefore:
- No matter how tired you are, do not sleep or nap during the day.
- It is best to go to bed only when sleepy-tired in the late evening.
- Switch the light out as soon as you get into bed.
- Always get up at the same time each day, seven days a week, however short the time asleep. Use an alarm to help with this. Resist the temptation to lie in – even after a poor night’s sleep. Do not use weekends to catch up on sleep, as this may upset the natural body rhythm that you have got used to in the week.
How To Sleep Better: Exercise
Regular exercise is another part of a good sleep hygiene program. However, choosing the times of day that you exercise is important. Exercising in the late afternoon can make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. However, exercise within a few hours before going to sleep may actually make it more difficult to get a good night’s sleep. People who exercise regularly, in general, have less incidence and risk for insomnia.
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Exercising To Reduce Stress
Studies have shown that exercise reduces stress. Exercise effectively reduces fatigue, improves sleep, enhances overall cognitive function such as alertness and concentration, decreases overall levels of tension, and improves self-esteem. Because many of these are depleted when an individual experiences chronic stress, exercise provides an ideal coping mechanism. Despite popular belief, it is not necessary for exercise to be routine or intense in order to reduce stress as little as five minutes of aerobic exercise can begin to stimulate anti-anxiety effects. Further, a 10-minute walk may have the same psychological benefits as a 45-minute workout, reinforcing the assertion that exercise in any amount or intensity will reduce stress.
The Lazarus and Folkman model suggests that external events create a form of pressure to achieve, engage in, or experience a stressful situation. Stress is not the external event itself, but rather an interpretation and response to the potential threat this is when the coping process begins.
There are various ways individuals deal with perceived threats that may be stressful. However, people have a tendency to respond to threats with a predominant coping style, in which they dismiss feelings, or manipulate the stressful situation.
Highly adaptive/active/problem-focused mechanisms
Mental inhibition/disavowal mechanisms
Suggested strategies to improve stress management include:
How Is Insomnia Treated
Because insomnia presents differently from person to person, treatment depends on the specific symptoms and the underlying causes. If insomnia stems from chronic pain, a mental health disorder, substance use, or another physical condition, this underlying issue needs to be treated separately.
When you seek insomnia treatment, your doctor may ask you questions about your sleep problems and daytime symptoms. They may also ask you to keep a sleep diary, or ask your bed partner for additional information. If they suspect you might have a sleep disorder, they may have you take an overnight sleep test where they measure your movements or brain waves.
The standard treatment for insomnia is cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia , which aims to teach you practices and behaviors to improve your sleep. CBT-I generally incorporates multiple components:
- Stimulus Control: Stimulus control reinforces the association between bed and sleep. This involves avoiding naps and only going to bed when you feel sleepy.
- Sleep Restriction Therapy: Sleep restriction therapy asks sleepers to adjust their time in bed based on how much sleep they are getting on a daily basis, with the aim of gradually increasing sleep.
- Relaxation Therapy: Techniques such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, or meditation may help you relax at bedtime.
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Improving Health With Current Research
Learn about the following ways the NHLBI continues to translate current research into improved health for people who have insomnia. Research on this topic is part of the NHLBIs broader commitment to advancing Sleep Science and Sleep Disorders scientific discovery.
Learn about some of the pioneering research contributions we have made over the years that have improved clinical care.
Another NHLBI-supported study, using fruit flies, showed that genes may explain sleep variations and may help to identify ways to treat insomnia. View To Sleep or Not: Researchers explore complex genetic network behind sleep duration for more information.
How A Pharmacist Can Help With Insomnia
You can buy tablets or liquids from a pharmacy that may help you sleep better.
Some contain natural ingredients while others, like Nytol, are an antihistamine.
They cannot cure insomnia but may help you sleep better for 1 to 2 weeks. They should not be taken for any longer.
Some of these products can have side effects, for instance, they may make you drowsy. This could make it difficult for you to do certain things like drive.
Check with your doctor before taking anything for your sleep problems.
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Sleep Apnea Treatment Options
Each has its own pros and cons. While the CPAP machine is safe and effective, it is noisy and inconvenient. The mouthguard, on the other hand, is easy to use but can cause pain.
Is It A Sleep Disorder Or Not Enough Sleep
Some people who feel tired during the day have a true sleep disorder, but for others, the real problem is not allowing enough time for sleep. Adults need at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night to be well rested, but the average adult sleeps for less than 7 hours a night.
Sleep is a basic human need, like eating, drinking, and breathing, and is vital to good health and well-being. Shortchanging yourself on sleep slows your thinking and reaction time, makes you irritable, and increases your risk of injury. It may even decrease your resistance to infections, increase your risk of obesity, and increase your risk of heart disease. To learn more about healthy sleep and what happens when you donât get enough sleep, visit NHLBIâs Your Guide to Healthy Sleep and What Are Sleep Deprivation and Deficiency?.
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Sleep Disorder Diagnosis: Sleep Study
Diagnosing sleep disorders usually begins with your physician obtaining a physical exam, a history of your sleep problems, and a review of potential risk factors along with a review of your sleep diary if you have one. Your physician may then refer you to a sleep clinic for additional testing termed a “sleep study” or polysomnogram. This study usually occurs overnight and the patient’s eye movements, breathing, brain activity, and other measurements are performed. The results may indicate a disorder such as sleep apnea or other sleep-related problems.
Insomnia By The Numbers
Various sleep surveys and studies have yielded mixed results about the prevalence of insomnia among different sleeper groups. Some conservative estimates show that 10% to 30%of adults live with chronic insomnia. For other studies, this figure is closer to 50% to 60%.
Insomnia is more prevalent in certain demographic groups, as well. Studies have shown insomnia affects 30% to 48% of older people. This may be attributed to chronic medical conditions, social isolation, and higher use of prescription medications, as well as factors like unhealthy sleep habits and stress that cause insomnia across all age groups. Other studies have found insomnia may occur in up to 23.8% of teenagers. More than 50% of pregnant women experience sleep issues that may be insomnia symptoms, as well.
Insomnia rates among different racial and ethnic groups are a bit harder to pin down. Some studies show a higher prevalence rate for insomnia among minority groups compared to Whites. Other studies have yielded contrasting results, which suggest Whites struggle with sleep-onset and sleep maintenance more than Blacks and Hispanics.
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What Treatments Are Available For Insomnia
In cases of secondary insomnia, it is crucial that the underlying condition causing the insomnia is treated. However, patients may be given medications such as sleeping pills or be instructed to use certain relaxation techniques in order to aid in sleeping until the primary condition can be treated.
In cases of primary insomnia, there are numerous routes of treatment available to patients. There are many over-the-counter alternative remedies for insomnia which have shown effective, such as valerian tea, hypnosis, or breathing techniques. Melatonin is another popular and effective treatment for insomnia and is widely available as a supplement.
Many prescription drugs also exist for treating insomnia but these must be used in extreme caution because of their potential risks and side effects. Benzodiazepine drugs which are popular for treating insomnia can lead to addiction and severe withdrawal symptoms of which include insomnia. Because of the risks of these drugs, they are only indicated for short-term use of a few days to weeks. Further, benzodiazepines and many other prescription drugs for insomnia cause rebound insomnia when treatment is ceased. Low doses of antidepressants may also be used for treating insomnia though they too have possible side effects and may take a while before patients experience benefits.