Do I have Insomnia?
Insomnia is defined as difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or poor quality of sleep despite adequate sleep-time that results in daytime impairment.
What kind of daytime impairment?
Insomnia causes problems such as fatigue, malaise, impaired attention or memory, poor performance at work or school, irritability, daytime sleepiness, reduced motivation or energy, increased risk of accidents, and headaches.
How much sleep do I really need?
Research cannot pinpoint an exact amount of required sleep; experts realize there is no "magic number." Not only do different age groups require different amounts of sleep, but sleep needs are also individual. Determining how much sleep you need involves an assessment of how you feel on different amounts of sleep, plus an examination of lifestyle factors affecting both the quality and quantity of your sleep, such as work schedules and stress.
Another reason there is no magic number" of hours known for healthy sleep is due to two different factors researchers are just discovering. The first is called basal sleep need the amount of sleep our bodies regularly require for optimal performance. This quantity is determined by a combination of age and genetics. The second factor is known as sleep debt -- the accumulated sleep that is lost to poor sleep habits, sickness, awakenings due to environmental factors, or other causes.
Sleep experts believe the average basal sleep need for adults is between seven and nine hours nightly to enjoy optimum performance, health, and safety. Getting fewer hours of sleep than this baseline requirement will create a sleep debt, which eventually needs to be replenished with additional sleep over the next few nights. Our body does not seem to get used to less sleep than it needs, so not paying it off leads to decreased mental and physical health.
What are the consequences of not getting enough sleep?
Scientific research has shown that sleeping too little can not only inhibit your productivity and ability to remember, but also lead to serious health consequences and jeopardize the safety of yourself and people around you. For example, short sleep duration is linked with:
- Family history
- Increased risk of motor vehicle accidents -- according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, driver fatigue causes over 100,000 accidents and 1500 deaths each year.
- Increased body mass index a greater likelihood of obesity due to an increased appetite caused by sleep deprivation.
- Increased risk of diabetes and heart problems.
- Increased risk for psychiatric conditions, including depression and substance abuse.
- Decreased ability to pay attention, react to signals, or remember new information.
How can I treat my insomnia?
Dr. Brodner will design a customized treatment plan to address the specific factors causing your trouble. Research has demonstrated that a combination of methods more successfully leads to a better nights sleep:
- Sleep Hygiene : This is a set of sleep rules that creates an environment more conducive to healthy slumber.
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy : This is a dual-method approach. The first involves changing the manner in which an insomniac thinks about sleep, addressing cognitive problems such as misconceptions or increased anxiety about the lack of sleep. The second utilizes strict guidelines, such as stimulus control instructions or sleep restriction therapy, to modify poor sleeping patterns into healthy sleep habits.
- Sleep Restriction Therapy : Sleep Restriction Therapy is a natural cure for insomnia that retrains the body-clock through a strict sleep scheduling process.
- Relaxation Techniques: There are many techniques available to prepare the mind and body for unwinding and settling down for a good night's sleep. Please visit www.shuteye.com as an excellent resource on this topic.
- Medication: There are many types of sleeping pills available with different properties and duration of action; however, if used alone without other methods, your insomnia is likely to persist or worsen. Too many patients try to self-medicate with over-the-counter drugs or worse, with a loved ones prescription. Allow Dr. Brodner to choose the right medication based on the characteristics of your unique situation.
For more information on Insomnia in the Boynton Beach, FL area call David C. Brodner, M.D. at (561) 735-8750 today!