Siamak T. Nabili, MD, MPH
Dr. Nabili received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), majoring in chemistry and biochemistry. He then completed his graduate degree at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). His graduate training included a specialized fellowship in public health where his research focused on environmental health and health-care delivery and management.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
In this Article
- What is insomnia?
- What causes insomnia?
- What are other causes of insomnia?
- What are the risk factors for insomnia?
- What are the symptoms of insomnia?
- When should I call the doctor about insomnia?
- How is insomnia diagnosed?
- How is insomnia treated?
- What are non-medical treatments for insomnia?
- What is sleep hygiene?
- How can stimulus control help with insomnia?
- What is sleep restriction?
- What medications are used to treat insomnia?
- What is the outlook for insomnia?
- Insomnia At A Glance
- Find a local Sleep Specialist in your town
What causes insomnia?
Insomnia may have many causes and, as described earlier, it can be classified based upon the underlying cause.
Situational and stress factors leading to insomnia may include:
- jet lag,
- physical discomfort (hot, cold, lighting, noise, unfamiliar
- working different shifts,
- stressful life situations (divorce or
separation, death of a loved one, losing a job, preparing for an examination),
- illicit drug use,
- cigarette smoking,
- caffeine intake prior to going to bed,
intoxication or withdrawal, or
- certain medications.
Most of these factors may be short-term and transient, and therefore insomnia may resolve when the underlying factor is removed or corrected.
Sleep hygiene can play an important role in insomnia. Poor sleep hygiene includes physical factors such as:
- using the bedroom for things other than
- eating or exercising prior to sleep,
- going to bed hungry,
- sleeping in
a room with too much noise or lighting, or
- doing work in bed.
Medical and psychiatric conditions
Medical and psychiatric conditions may also contribute to insomnia.
Some of these common medical conditions may include:
- breathing problems
from chronic heart or lung disease (asthma,
chronic obstructive pulmonary
- congestive heart failure,
- obstructive sleep apnea),
- urinary problems (frequent urination,
- chronic pain,
- Parkinson's disease, or
Common psychiatric problems can be responsible for insomnia including:
Some common physiologic conditions can lead to insomnia such as:
Other causes of insomnia may be related to sleep disorders including:
- sleep walking,
- sleep apnea,
- restless leg syndrome (creeping
sensations in the leg during sleep, relieved by leg movement),
- periodic limb
movement disorder (involuntary repeated leg movement during sleep), or
- circadian sleep disturbance (unusual sleep time due to disturbed biological clock).
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