Insomnia

With IU Health sleep experts on your side, you will get the help you need to sleep well and wake up refreshed and rested

Insomnia means you have difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep or getting restful, restorative sleep. It affects your work performance, ability to concentrate and makes it difficult for you to control some health conditions, such as diabetes. With IU Health sleep experts on your side, you will get the help you need to sleep well.

Diagnosis

Your IU Health physician may determine the cause of your insomnia by getting your medical history and taking into account potential factors such as sleep apnea or depression. Your diagnosis may require testing, such as overnight sleep studies, to ensure an accurate diagnosis.

Overnight sleep studies usually occur at a sleep clinic. Studies require you to sleep when you normally do at the clinic while attached to an electroencephalogram (EEG) to monitor your brain activity and map out your sleeping pattern. Your physicians may also monitor your breathing and muscle movements by video or other tools.

Causes

Medicines, stress, a change in your work schedule or medical conditions can cause insomnia. If you experience insomnia, talk to your physician before using sleep aid medicines. Over-the-counter medicine may not provide you with restful sleep and may actually worsen your symptoms.

Symptoms

Sometimes insomnia is a sign of a larger problem, such as sleep apnea. Tell your physician if you snore or jolt awake often, and how often you experience it.

Understanding Insomnia

Diagnosis

Your IU Health physician may determine the cause of your insomnia by getting your medical history and taking into account potential factors such as sleep apnea or depression. Your diagnosis may require testing, such as overnight sleep studies, to ensure an accurate diagnosis.

Overnight sleep studies usually occur at a sleep clinic. Studies require you to sleep when you normally do at the clinic while attached to an electroencephalogram (EEG) to monitor your brain activity and map out your sleeping pattern. Your physicians may also monitor your breathing and muscle movements by video or other tools.

Causes

Medicines, stress, a change in your work schedule or medical conditions can cause insomnia. If you experience insomnia, talk to your physician before using sleep aid medicines. Over-the-counter medicine may not provide you with restful sleep and may actually worsen your symptoms.

Symptoms

Sometimes insomnia is a sign of a larger problem, such as sleep apnea. Tell your physician if you snore or jolt awake often, and how often you experience it.

Physicians at IU Health understand the importance of good sleep for your health and quality of life. Your physicians want to help you experience restful sleep and will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that fits your lifestyle. Your plan may consist of multiple components such as:

  • Education
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Medication therapies

In many cases, insomnia stops when you follow the rules for good sleep hygiene, changing medications or better managing your health. IU Health Sleep Disorders physicians provide comprehensive treatment of insomnia, including:

  • Education. They 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 your circadian rhythms to help us diagnose disorders that cause insomnia.
  • Medicine therapy. Your physicians do not recommend taking sleep aids without physician supervision. They may prescribe sleep aids for short-term and long-term use and monitor your health to ensure these medications work well without causing side effects.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy. Weekly therapy sessions with an IU Health sleep psychologist can help more than medications in many cases.
  • Referral to specialists. If another medical condition causes your insomnia, your physicians guide you to other IU Health experts who can assist you so you can sleep better.

Treatment

Physicians at IU Health understand the importance of good sleep for your health and quality of life. Your physicians want to help you experience restful sleep and will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that fits your lifestyle. Your plan may consist of multiple components such as:

  • Education
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Medication therapies

In many cases, insomnia stops when you follow the rules for good sleep hygiene, changing medications or better managing your health. IU Health Sleep Disorders physicians provide comprehensive treatment of insomnia, including:

  • Education. They 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 your circadian rhythms to help us diagnose disorders that cause insomnia.
  • Medicine therapy. Your physicians do not recommend taking sleep aids without physician supervision. They may prescribe sleep aids for short-term and long-term use and monitor your health to ensure these medications work well without causing side effects.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy. Weekly therapy sessions with an IU Health sleep psychologist can help more than medications in many cases.
  • Referral to specialists. If another medical condition causes your insomnia, your physicians guide you to other IU Health experts who can assist you so you can sleep better.

Patient Stories for Insomnia

Resources