ZocdocAnswersWhat should I do about my insomnia?

Question

What should I do about my insomnia?

Over the last couple of months I've developed a real problem with sleeping. I just can't seem to fall asleep at night anymore and there is no reason for it. It is starting to affect my work. What can I do? Are there any ways to cure insomnia or do I need a psychologist?

Answer

If you are having such persistent trouble with insomnia, you should definitely see a doctor! Insomnia can be a major debilitating medical problem, and your doctor can help you figure out what is going on. I would actually start by seeing your primary care doctor, who can evaluate you for medical causes of your insomnia and also make any necessary referrals, such as to see a psychiatrist or psychologist. One of the most common causes of insomnia is high levels of stress in your personal life or work. Often this can be managed by increasing the amount of time you spend exercising and by eating nutritious meals, among other similar lifestyle changes. However, counseling or therapy can also sometimes be helpful to develop strategies for coping with stress. Also, both anxiety disorder and depression can be associated with insomnia; your primary care doctor can screen you for these conditions. Insomnia is also made worse by drinking caffeine or alcohol and by smoking. There are also numerous medications that can be associated with insomnia; your primary care doctor can review all the medications you are taking and help you figure out if there are any likely culprits. Finally there are a few medical conditions, such as hyperthyroidism, which your doctor can rule out with a physical exam or simple blood tests.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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