What is Insomnia?

Insomnia is an inability to fall asleep or stay asleep. It may also take the form of early morning awakening in which the individual wakes up several hours early and is unable to resume sleeping.

Not getting enough sleep is linked with many chronic diseases and conditions - such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and depression - that threaten our health. Not getting enough sleep can lead to motor vehicle crashes and mistakes at work, which cause many injuries and disabilities each year.

What are the symptoms of Insomnia?

Symptoms of insomnia may include:

  • Difficulty falling asleep at night
  • Waking up during the night
  • Waking up too early
  • Not feeling well-rested after a night's sleep
  • Daytime tiredness or sleepiness
  • Irritability, depression, or anxiety
  • Difficulty paying attention, focusing on tasks, or remembering
  • Increased errors or accidents

Before arriving at a diagnosis of insomnia, a healthcare provider will rule out other potential causes, such as other sleep disorders, side effects of medications, substance abuse, depression, or other previously undetected illness.

How to Prevent Insomnia:

Dedicating yourself to regular sleep habits can help you get a good night’s sleep.

Some habits that can improve your sleep health:

  • Have a consistent bedtime each night and wake up at the same time each morning to establish a more regular resting schedule
  • Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, and relaxing, with the temperature set to a comfortable range
  • Remove electronic devices, such as phones, TVs, and computers from the bedroom
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol after 6 p.m. and before bedtime
  • Avoid eating before bedtime, particularly any sugary foods
  • Exercise! Physical activity during the day can help you fall asleep more easily at night

Treating Insomnia:

Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) has been shown to help people with insomnia control or eliminate negative thoughts and actions which keep them awake. It is generally recommended as the first line of treatment for people with insomnia. Typically, CBT-I is equally or more effective than sleep medications.

Health care providers may treat chronic insomnia with a combination of use of sedative-hypnotic or sedating antidepressant medications, along with behavioral techniques to promote regular sleep. 

How can San Ysidro Health help?

If you are struggling with insomnia, we can help.

Call or text (619) 662-4100 to schedule an appointment with one of our behavioral health providers. To learn more about San Ysidro Health’s Behavioral Health Services department, click here.