If you have trouble going to sleep you may have insomnia. Insomnia is the most common sleep problem and it is recognizable by difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, having a sense of light and un-refreshing sleep or waking up too early. Transient insomnia usually lasts for a few nights while short-term insomnia last for two to four weeks. These may not require treatment. But for some people insomnia may be chronic lasting for months or years.

 Insomnia is often caused by stress, but other sleep or medical disorders, poor sleep habits, medications, caffeine or even anxiety about falling asleep may cause it. However, if the anxiety that keeps you awake is due to chronic insomnia you need to discover the underlying cause.

Other contributing causes could be noise, extreme temperature change or problems in your sleep schedule such as jet lag or changing shift work. The daytime consequences of insomnia are fatigue, lack of energy, difficulty concentrating, irritability, anxiety, impaired memory and sleepiness.

 Chronic insomnia needs to be diagnosed and underlying medical or psychological problems treated. Like any sleep disorder, treatment of chronic insomnia takes understanding and ruling out a sleep disorder can be an important first step. Help in identifying the cause of insomnia will soon be available at the Forks Community Hospital Sleep Disorders Clinic. Instead of insomnia, perhaps the problem is simply a misperception about your sleep that can be relieved with a sleep study. Some people will sleep most of the night and believe they didn’t sleep at all thus causing a degree of anxiety. Seeing the data from an all night sleep recording that shows normal sleep can help relieve that anxiety. There are specific and effective relaxation techniques that can reduce anxiety and body tension and if discovered, other sleep disorders can be treated if they are the cause of your insomnia.