Guardian featured Harley Street IBS & Autoimmune Clinic addresses the underlying issues, not just the symptoms insomnia treatment.
Insomnia Treatment: Insomnia is a sleep disorder that is characterised by difficulty falling and/or staying asleep. People with insomnia have one or more of the following 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
Types of Insomnia
There are two types of insomnia: primary insomnia and secondary insomnia.
• Primary insomnia:Primary insomnia means that a person is having sleep problems that are not directly associated with any other health condition or problem.
• Secondary insomnia:Secondary insomnia means that a person is having sleep problems because of something else, such as a health condition (like asthma, depression, arthritis, cancer, or heartburn); pain; medication they are taking; or a substance they are using (like alcohol).
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). It can also come and go, with periods of time when a person has no sleep problems. Acute insomnia can last from one night to a few weeks. Insomnia is called chronic when a person has insomnia at least three nights a week for three months or longer.
Causes of Insomnia
• Significant life stress (job loss or change, death of a loved one, divorce, moving)
• Emotional or physical discomfort
• 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 or switching from a day to night shift, for example)
Causes of chronic insomnia may include:
- Environmental issues
- Chronic stress
- Pain or discomfort at night
- Depression and/or anxiety
Treatment for Insomnia
At The Harley Street IBS and Autoimmune Clinic we will conduct an evaluation, which may include a physical exam, a medical history, and a sleep history. You may be asked to keep a sleep diary for a week or two, keeping track of your sleep patterns and how you feel during the day. We will assess possible root causes and imbalances using functional medicine tests, and design a tailored insomnia treatment, using non pharmaceutical medicine, for each patient at our London clinic. It also includes treatment for anxiety, where necessary.
Clinical Practice Guideline for the Pharmacologic Treatment of Chronic Insomnia in Adults: An American Academy of Sleep Medicine Clinical Practice Guideline. J Clin Sleep Med. 2017 Feb 15;13(2):307-349. doi: 10.5664/jcsm.6470. PMID: 27998379 Free PMC article.
Management of Chronic Insomnia Disorder in Adults: A Clinical Practice Guideline From the American College of Physicians. Ann Intern Med. 2016 Jul 19;165(2):125-33. doi: 10.7326/M15-2175. Epub 2016 May 3.PMID: 27136449
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