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Insomnia is not being able to fall asleep or having difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that can be acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term).
In addition to being sleepy and tired during the day, you may also feel anxious, depressed or irritable.
The lack of sleep makes it hard to pay attention and focus on tasks and can make driving dangerous.
Our sleep disorder specialists offer the most effective treatments available to help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, so you feel better.
- Download our free guide to learn how to improve your sleep, and as a result, your overall health.
Acute insomnia usually lasts for a few days or weeks. It usually results from stress at work or home, or a traumatic event.
Chronic insomnia can last for months, and commonly results from medications, medical conditions, other sleep disorders or behaviors like using caffeine, tobacco or alcohol.
Primary insomnia is a separate condition that can also last at least a month. This type of chronic insomnia may result from long-term stress or traumatic emotional upset. Travel and work schedules that disrupt your sleep routine can cause insomnia.
After your insomnia test, our sleep doctors will work with you to develop a treatment plan best suited to your needs. Your treatment may include lifestyle changes that make it easier for you to fall asleep and stay asleep such as:
- Don’t go to bed late when you have to get up early the next day
- Don’t use drugs, alcohol or caffeine before bed
- Try activities that help you relax before bed, like listening to soothing music or reading
- Your doctor may prescribe medications to help relieve your insomnia and reestablish a regular sleep schedule.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia
We may prescribe cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for insomnia. Our experienced sleep therapist will help you develop good sleep habits to relieve sleep anxiety. You will also learn relaxation techniques and biofeedback to control your breathing, heart rate, muscles and mood.
Sleep Strategies for Insomnia
Use these guidelines to develop sleep strategies you can use to prevent insomnia.
- Exercise regularly, but not less than 5 to 6 hours before going to bed
- Get enough sunlight exposure during the day
- Avoid large, late-night meals and beverages with caffeine or alcohol
- Don't take a nap after 3 pm
- Keep the bedroom temperature cool
- Minimize distractions such as bright lights and TV and avoid using your computer, phone or tablet just before or while in bed
To make sure you have no other sleep disorders, you may have an overnight sleep study in our sleep lab. We use sleep studies to diagnose sleep apnea, sleep-related neurologic seizure and movement disorders, and narcolepsy, a sleep disorder that causes extreme daytime tiredness.
Make an Appointment
Learn more about insomnia or make an appointment with one of our sleep specialists.
- Baltimore: 410-706-4771
- Columbia: 667-214-2100
Below are tracks from the "Falling Asleep" CD. Click on any of the tracks below to listen, or right-click 'Save Target As' on WMA or MP3 to download.
- Introduction - WMA | Introduction - MP3
- Insomnia - WMA | Insomnia - MP3
- Other Sleep Disorders - WMA | Other Sleep Disorders - MP3
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation - WMA | Progressive Muscle Relaxation - MP3
- Guided Imagery - WMA | Guided Imagery - MP3
- Deep Breathing - WMA | Deep Breathing - MP3
- Quiet Ears - WMA | Quiet Ears - MP3
- Tropical Beach Sounds - WMA | Tropical Beach Sounds - MP3
- Air of the River - WMA | Air of the River - MP3
- The Serenity - WMA | The Serenity - MP3
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