More than 70 million people in the U.S. have a sleep disorder. Most of those who have one are completely unaware of it. Many of those who are aware of it never choose to seek the help that they need.
If you have insomnia, then you are not alone. It is a common sleep disorder. About 30% of adults have symptoms of insomnia. Less than 10% of adults are likely to have chronic insomnia. It is more common among elderly people and women. Some medical conditions cause insomnia, or it may be a side effect of a medication.
Untreated and persistent insomnia is associated with:
- reduced quality of life
- poor work performance
- increased occurrence of accidents
- risk for medical illness
- risk for psychiatric illness
Untreated sleep apnea is associated with an increased risk for:
- heart disease
- motor vehicle accidents
- emotional instability
- high medical expenses
- poor concentration
- decreased alertness
How Do I Know if I Have Insomnia?
- Do you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, or do you wake up too early or feel unrefreshed after sleeping?
- For a child, does the child resist going to sleep or resist sleeping alone?
- Does this problem occur even though you have the opportunity and the time to get a good night’s sleep?
- Do you have at least on of the following problems?
- low energy
- lack of motivation
- attention, concentration or memory problems
- poor performance at school or work
- extreme mood changes
- daytime sleepiness
- frequent errors at work or while driving
- tension, headaches or stomach aches
- frustration or worry about your sleep
If your answer to any of these questions is yes, then you might have insomnia.
It is also important to know if there is something else that is causing your sleep problems. They may be a result of one of the following:
- another sleep disorder
- a medical condition
- medication use
- a mental health disorder
- substance abuse
How Do I Know if I Have Sleep Apnea?
- Do you ever wake from sleep with a choking sound or gasping for breath?
- If you have a bed partner, have they noticed that you snore loudly or stop breathing while you sleep?
- Do you experience any of these problems?
- unintentionally falling asleep during the day
- general daytime sleepiness
- unrefreshing sleep
If your answer to any of these questions is yes, then you might have obstructive sleep apnea.
Almost all people with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) snore loudly, and about half of the people who snore loudly have OSA. Snoring is a sign that your airway is being partially blocked. While you may not think you snore, ask the person who sleeps next to you. He or she can tell how often you snore and whether or not you
Many people with OSA are sleepy during the day. They find that they are still tired even after a nap. When you stop breathing, your body wakes up. It happens so quickly, you aren’t even aware of it. This disrupts your sleep process. You can stop breathing hundreds of times in one night. This will make you feel very tired the next day.
What Type of Sleep Problems Do We Treat?
We evaluate and treat patients who have difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, who wake up early, or who experience poor quality sleep.
Common sleep disorders that we treat include insomnia, sleep apnea, and restless leg syndrome.
What Kind of Treatment Can I Expect?
For patients with insomnia, we primarily use cognitive-behavioral treatments that have been empirically validated. Six to twelve sessions are usually required to improve sleep. Therapists are trained to identify and treat most associated/underlying symptoms to your sleep problems. If there are other symptoms identified, treatment probably will take longer.
All therapists work closely with your health care provider to ensure that your care is coordinated. In some cases, an evaluation for medication and/or a sleep study is recommended.
How Can I Get Started?
Appointments can be made by calling our office staff at 610-970-5234 or by completing an intake on this website. Our staff can connect you with a therapist who has been trained to work with people who have sleep problems.
10 Ways to Get a Good Night’s Sleep
1. Maintain a regular sleep schedule 7 days a week.
2. Establish a relaxing bedtime routine.
3. Avoid naps.
4. Make sure your bedroom is comfortable and free from light and noise.
5. Exercise regularly.
6. Eat regular meals and do not go to bed hungry (but avoid heavy or greasy foods).
7. Avoid excessive liquids in the evening.
8. Cut down on all caffeine products.
9. Avoid alcohol, especially in the evening.
10. Do not try to fall asleep. If you are having trouble falling asleep, get out of bed, and do something different. Return to bed only when you are sleepy.