Do you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep? You are not alone. About 30 percent of adults have symptoms of insomnia, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, and about one in 10 adults has symptoms severe enough to cause problems during the day. A sleep study can help determine the cause of your sleeplessness.
Insomnia can be short-term, lasting up to three months, or it can be a longer-lasting chronic sleep problem. Our board-certified sleep medicine doctors at O2 Pulmonary & Sleep Group can diagnose this sleep problem and participate in ongoing care.
Insomnia Symptoms and Causes
While symptoms and causes differ for each patient, the most common symptoms include:
- Daytime fatigue and sleepiness.
- Attention, concentration or memory problems.
- Poor performance at work or school.
- Moodiness or irritability.
- Aggression or impulsiveness.
- Lack of energy or motivation.
- Errors and accidents.
- Concern or frustration about the quantity or quality of your sleep.
Insomnia is typically associated with other problems, including other sleep disorders such as restless leg syndrome. Stress is a common cause of sleeplessness. Certain medical conditions, especially those that cause pain or limited mobility, can make it difficult to sleep well. Pregnancy and menopause can also interfere with sleep.
There is a close relationship between sleep problems and mental health. Poor sleep can cause moodiness while depression, anxiety and mood disorders can lead to sleep disorders.
Medications and substance abuse can interfere with sleep. Cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine can make it difficult to fall asleep, as can antidepressants and drugs to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, high blood pressure or Parkinson’s disease. Drinking alcohol before bedtime can cause you to awaken frequently throughout the night. Caffeine can make it hard to fall asleep, and stimulants can lead to frequent awakenings.
If you have had trouble falling asleep or staying asleep for at least three months, you may benefit from a sleep study at O2 Pulmonary & Sleep Group. Our sleep doctor can help determine the cause of your sleeplessness and work with a sleep team to treat it.
Keep a sleep diary before your appointment to provide insight into your sleep habits. Record when you go to sleep, when you wake up, and how long you were awake during the night. Be sure to note any caffeine, alcohol or medication use.
Our sleep specialists at O2 Pulmonary & Sleep Group will gather a detailed medical history and ask about all your medications, including any over-the-counter drugs you take. Our doctor will ask about stressful or traumatic events in your life. Other tests may also provide insight into your sleep disorder.
You may require an overnight study if our board-certified sleep medicine doctor suspects you have sleep apnea or another sleep disorder. In this exam, you sleep overnight in a lab set up with a comfortable bed. You will be connected to an electroencephalogram, which monitors the stages of your sleep, during the test. This noninvasive test also measures things such as oxygen levels, body movements, and heart and breathing patterns.