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Posts for tag: Insomnia

By Pacific Sleep Program
March 28, 2019
Category: Health
Tags: Insomnia  

Many people think of insomnia as one specific problem with one treatment. However, just as any type of pain can represent different Insomniacauses in different people, insomnia has different causes in different people. 

First of all, insomnia is often a symptom of some other disorder. Insomnia is defined as any one of 4 basic symptoms – difficulty falling asleep, waking up during the night and having difficulty getting back to sleep, early morning awakening insomnia and nonrestorative sleep insomnia. People can experience more than one of these symptoms.

Insomnia can occur for many reasons. It is often due to another undiagnosed sleep disorder, such as a circadian rhythm disorder (sleeping on a different clock, such as shift work or being on call or circadian rhythm delayed sleep phase, being a natural night owl), sleep apnea/sleep disordered breathing, periodic limb movement disorder but can also be due to mood disorders (it can herald the onset of depression or anxiety disorder or a substance abuse disorder) or be a residual effect of a previous episode of a mood disorder. It can be due to medications or pain issues as well. Unlike other fields of medicine, patients with sleep disorders often have more than one underlying sleep disorder, and all of them need to be treated.

In order to clearly understand insomnia, we need to take a very thorough history of the predisposing factors (“Why me?”) such as genetic insomnia tendency or mood disorders, the precipitating factors (“What got it started?”) such as abuse issues leading to hypervigilance, transitions including parenthood, stressors, shift work in the past, etc., and the perpetuating factors (“Why is insomnia STILL happening?”). 

Our goal during our consultation is to isolate all of the possible perpetuating factors and put together a plan to diagnose and treat these factors. This may involve further testing or other treatment protocols that we approach and apply in a systematic manner. 

Once the above has been addressed, many patients have a conditioned insomnia, in which the brain has been conditioned to have awakenings or arousals. The brain then needs to be retrained on how to sleep again because the coping mechanisms that people adopt for insomnia usually worsen the insomnia – for example, sleeping late because they “did not get a wink all night”, getting up to do relaxing activities or work during the night, “because since I can’t sleep, I might as well do something”, etc.

Many patients ask about using sleeping pills. There are no medical studies that show that the use of long term sleeping pills are either recommended or helpful in insomnia except in certain rare cases, such as after severe traumatic brain injury or other similar conditions. However, sleeping pills may be considered for brief periods if indicated due to particular stressors. The chronic use of sleeping pills is associated with multiple risks, including dementia and fall risks. Some sleeping pills can also be addictive and can cause a rebound insomnia, which can cause a more severe insomnia if the pills are discontinued. 

More importantly, sleeping pills do not actually cure insomnia. A person can take sleeping pills for decades, and at the end of it, they will still have insomnia. The pills have only masked the insomnia. Masking the insomnia problem with pills is not the same as curing the insomnia. Proper treatment of insomnia requires thorough consultation and treatment of all perpetuating causes as well as more detailed treatments such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBTI). 

Insomnia treatment can be challenging. A nice introduction to insomnia treatment that we sometimes recommend is a book called "Say Goodnight to Insomnia" which outlines some of the strategies that are used in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia. 

For a thorough evaluation for your sleep problems, we recommend that you contact us at our Portland or Astoria location and schedule a consultation. 

By Pacific Sleep Program
April 11, 2018
Category: Health
Tags: Insomnia  

What your doctors in Portland, Oregon want you to know.insomnia

If you are unable to get to sleep night after night, it could be a sign you have insomnia, which can lead to serious medical issues. Your doctors at Pacific Sleep Program want to help. They have convenient office locations in Portland, and Astoria, Oregon to help you get a good night’s sleep.

So, what is insomnia? According to the National Sleep Foundation, insomnia is characterized by difficulty getting to sleep or difficulty staying asleep. Lack of proper sleep can cause you to:

  • Feel fatigued
  • Have low energy
  • Have problems concentrating
  • Have mood swings
  • Have performance issues

There are two types of insomnia, both based on how long the condition lasts:

Acute insomnia which happens only briefly and is usually caused by anxiety from a life event; this type of insomnia often goes away on its own without treatment.

Chronic insomnia which happens at least 3 nights during the week and lasts for at least 3 months; this type of insomnia is more complicated and can arise from various causes including changes in work schedule, environmental changes, medications, and medical disorders.

So, what can you do about insomnia? There are several simple tricks you can try at home to get a good night’s sleep, including:

  • Having the same bedtime and wake time every day
  • Staying active and exercising
  • Avoiding medications that can cause insomnia
  • Avoiding naps, and if you do take a nap, make it short
  • Avoiding smoking and nicotine products
  • Limiting consumption of caffeine and alcohol
  • Not eating large amounts of food before sleep

It’s also important to make your bedroom comfortable, without a television.

If your insomnia doesn’t get better with home remedies, it’s time to see your doctors at Pacific Sleep Program. They may recommend behavioral therapy, medications, and relaxation techniques to help you get to sleep. You don’t need to toss and turn every night when help is a phone call away. It’s time to call your doctors at Pacific Sleep Program, with offices in Portland, and Astoria, Oregon.

By Pacific Sleep Program
January 12, 2017
Category: Health
Tags: Insomnia  

According to statistics from the National Institutes of Health, as much as 30 percent of the population suffers from inadequate or insomniainterrupted sleep on an ongoing basis.

The effects of insomnia can have serious consequences on mental and physical health, as well as in lost productivity on a national scale. According to an international study conducted by RAND Europe, the United States loses over $400 billion a year and over a million working days as a result of sleep related issues among the workforce. The Pacific Sleep Program in Portland, Oregon offers sleep assessment and testing programs to help diagnose sleep disorders like insomnia and sleep apnea.

Diagnosis and Treatment for Insomnia in Portland

Insomnia is a sleep disorder that interferes with the ability to fall and stay asleep throughout the night. Over three million Americans reportedly suffer from chronic insomnia. The most common signs and symptoms include:

  • Difficulty falling asleep at night
  • Waking up frequently/difficulty staying asleep throughout the night
  • Feeling tired/exhausted after sleeping
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety and depression

Chronic insomnia and sleeplessness can affect everything from mood, memory, concentration and motor skills (like driving a car).

What Causes Insomnia?

Many sleep disorders go undiagnosed, with people living with the effects of their condition for years, often unaware of the source of the problem. There are a number of factors that can disrupt sleeping patterns and lead to insomnia. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Stress
  • Poor diet
  • Excessive alcohol, caffeine and nicotine
  • Certain medications
  • Health conditions

Sleep Medicine in Portland

Are poor sleeping patterns affecting your health, productivity and quality of life? If you are suffering from symptoms of insomnia or other sleep problems, contact the Pacific Sleep Program in Portland, Oregon to schedule a consultation today.

By Pacific Sleep Program
December 24, 2015
Category: Services
Tags: Insomnia  

Lack of sleep affects every aspect of your life, from your performance at work to your relationships with family members. Sometimes it seems as if the harder you try to fall asleep, the more difficult it is to achieve your goal. Gerald B. Rich, MD, PC, the founder of Pacific Sleep Program, along with doctors Radhika Breaden, Gregory Clark and Andrea Matsumura, are here to share a few tips for Astoria Sleep Apnearesidents who suffer from insomnia.

Create the perfect environment

Bright lights, noise, and rooms that are either too hot or too cold can interfere with your ability to fall asleep or remain asleep. Although some people claim that they can sleep anywhere, most of us benefit from sleeping in a dark, quiet room. It's hard to sleep if you aren't comfortable. Replace worn mattresses and wear your softest pajamas or clothing to bed.

Skip the caffeine

Since caffeine is a stimulant, it's not surprising that it interferes with your ability to fall asleep or sleep deeply. The effects of caffeine can last for hours, which means that the cup of coffee you drank at 4 p.m. may make it hard to fall asleep at 10 p.m. Drink coffee, tea, colas and other beverages containing caffeine early in the day. Switch to herbal tea or other non-caffeinated drinks in the afternoon or evening.

Establish a routine

You may be able to eliminate insomnia by sticking to the same sleep routine every day of the week. Resist the urge to sleep in on Saturday, as varying sleep schedules can confuse your body. Make exercise a part of your daily routine. Exercise helps reduce stress and tension and can help you sleep better. Although exercise can be helpful, don't work out several hours before you plan to go to bed, as exercise can initially make you feel more energetic.

Call the experts in Astoria

If nothing you try relieves your insomnia, make an appointment with a sleep disorders doctor. These physicians specialize in a variety of sleep problems and can help you get more rest.

Is insomnia controlling your life? Call Astoria doctors Gerald B. Rich, MD, PC, and his colleagues Drs. Radhika Breaden, Gregory Clark and Andrea Matsumura, at (503) 325-3126 today. A better night's sleep awaits you!