How We Can Help
Insomnia Treatment Information
IU Health Sleep Disorders physicians provide comprehensive treatment of insomnia, including the following services:
- Education. Following the rules for good sleep hygiene and making lifestyle changes may cure insomnia. What you eat and when you eat can have a huge effect on your ability to sleep. Exercising can also help you experience restful sleep. We can teach you how to set up a good environment for sleep in your bedroom and what habits to follow each night to set the stage for rest.
- Actigraphy. During this test, you wear a watch for several days that monitors activity in your body. The watch monitors your movements and when you are at rest so our physicians can look at your circadian rhythms, the natural rhythms of sleep and activity in our bodies. These measurements help us diagnose circadian rhythm disorders that cause insomnia.
- Diagnosis of conditions. Our physicians discover if your insomnia is caused by another medical condition, such as sleep apnea or depression. We may be able to rule out these conditions after asking you a few questions about your medical history. Some testing, such as overnight sleep studies, may be necessary for the best diagnosis. Overnight sleep studies usually occur at a sleep clinic. You sleep during your normal sleeping hours at the clinic while attached to an electroencephalogram (EEG) to monitor your brain activity and map out your sleeping pattern. Your breathing and muscle movements may also be monitored by video or other tools.
- Medicine therapy. We do not recommend taking sleep aids without physician supervision. Some patients also try to use over-the-counter medicines that cause drowsiness, such as night time medicines and antihistamines, to help them sleep; however, these can actually lower sleep quality and cause more long-term problems. We prescribe sleep aids for short-term and long-term use and monitor your health to ensure these medications are effective without causing side effects. While we do not recommend using a sleep aid for a long time, they can help you readjust to sleeping normally after short-term use.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy. Weekly therapy sessions with our sleep psychologists can be more effective than medications in many cases. The psychologist helps you overcome negative feelings toward sleep and handle stress that may cause insomnia. They also teach you behaviors that assist you in falling asleep.
- Referral to specialists. If your insomnia is caused by another medical condition, our physicians guide you to other IU Health experts who can assist you. Arthritis, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and heart failure can also cause insomnia. By managing these conditions, you should be able to sleep better.
Insomnia Locations & Physicians
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Insomnia Support Services
Insomnia puts stress on your mental and physical health. Use the resources below to find out more about how to get rid of your insomnia safely.
A Sampling of Insomnia Support Services
National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute
This institute discusses the signs, symptoms, risks factors and treatments for insomnia.