Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder. A person who has insomnia has difficulty falling and/or staying asleep.

There are two types of insomnia: primary insomnia and secondary insomnia.

Primary insomnia: Primary insomnia means that a person is having sleep issues that are not directly associated with any other health condition.

Secondary insomnia: Secondary insomnia means that a person is having sleeping difficulties from something else, such as a health condition, i.e. asthma, depression, medications, heartburn/GERD, fibromyalgia/ pain issues, or substance abuse.

Insomnia Symptoms:

  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Waking up often during the night and having trouble going back to sleep
  • Waking up too early in the morning
  • Feeling tired upon waking

Causes of Insomnia:

  • Significant life stress
    • Job loss/change
    • Death of a loved one
    • Financial
    • Divorce/moving
    • Children
    • Health issues/illness
  • Poor sleep hygiene
    • TV/laptop/Smart phone/video games in bedroom
    • Food in bed
    • Pets in bed
    • Young children in your bed
  • Emotional or physical discomfort (fibromyalgia)
  • Environmental factors like noise, light, or extreme temperatures (hot or cold) that interfere with sleep
  • Some medications (for example those used to treat colds, allergies, depression, high blood pressure, and asthma) may interfere with sleep
  • Interferences in normal sleep schedule
    • Jet lag
    • Night shift/third shift
    • Rotating work schedule
    • Infant care/feedings

Acute vs. Chronic Insomnia
Insomnia also varies in how long it lasts and how often it occurs. It can be short-term (acute insomnia) or can last a long time (chronic insomnia). Insomnia can also come and go, with periods of time when a person has no sleep difficulties. Acute insomnia may last from one night to a few weeks. Insomnia is chronic when a person has insomnia at least three nights a week for a month or longer.

Diagnosing Insomnia
If you think you have insomnia, click here to schedule an appointment. You can also go to the Download tab and fill out the Sleep Questionnaire. There is also a Worry Worksheet and Sleep Diary available to download. The Sleep Diary will help track of your sleep patterns and how you feel during the day. By contacting Eviva Sleep via phone or on line appointment, Dr. Park can do a complete sleep consultation and you may require an overnight sleep study. The overnight sleep study often discovers a significant underlying reason that is the primary cause for your insomnia. An additional day study, composing of a series of short naps, may also be useful to determine the level of your daytime sleepiness.

Treatment for Acute Insomnia
Mild insomnia often can be prevented or cured improving your sleep hygiene. After your sleep study results are known, Dr. Passani may prescribe medication for a limited time, if your insomnia makes it hard for you to function during the day. Rapid onset, short-acting drugs can help you avoid effects such as drowsiness the following day. Avoid using over-the-counter sleeping pills for insomnia since they may have undesired side effects and tend to lose their effectiveness over time.

Treatment for Chronic Insomnia

  • Treating any underlying conditions or health problems
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT

CBT approaches help you change behaviors that may cause/worsen insomnia, and to learn new behaviors to promote good sleep. Techniques such as relaxation exercises, sleep restriction therapy, worry worksheet, even sleep music (check out Dueter) can be useful.


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