What is insomnia?

Insomnia is a sleep disorder in which individuals either have trouble falling asleep, wake up frequently during the night and have difficulty getting back sleep, wake up too early without a sufficient amount of sleep or wake up not feeling rested. Insomnia may be either transient (lasting less than one month) or chronic (occurring most nights and lasting for a month or longer). An estimated 1 in 10 Americans suffers from insomnia. People who do not get sufficient sleep are also at increased risk for chronic diseases, including hypertension, diabetes, depression, and obesity, along with cancer and a diminished quality of life.

What causes insomnia?

A number of factors can contribute to insomnia, including a genetic predisposition to insomnia, a history of depression or anxiety, stress, as well as other medical conditions. Among these are: heart failure, asthma, sleep apnea, and restless leg syndrome. Certain lifestyle habits can cause insomnia, as well. These include excessive caffeine consumptions, drinking alcohol prior to bedtime, excessive daytime napping, and an irregular sleep schedule.

What treatment options for insomnia are offered at Sleep Health MD?

Our treatment program focuses on changing thoughts and behaviors that interfere with good quality sleep. This skill-based approach consists of multiple treatment components that are often referred to collectively as cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I). It is an alternative, highly successful approach that is generally more successful than use of sleeping medications.

Each person might experience symptoms of insomnia differently based their own life circumstances, coping styles, and biological predispositions.  Our program addresses the special needs of each insomnia patient. The treatment components are carefully chosen and woven together to address each patient’s unique experience and treatment goals. The selection of components is guided by current scientific knowledge about the regulation of sleep and wake processes, such as the sleep drive and the biological clock that regulates sleep and wakefulness. Treatment focuses on identifying and modifying factors that can hinder these processes and cause insomnia.

What can I expect during my treatment Sessions at Sleep Health MD?

  • Education on normal sleep and the many factors that impact its quality and quantity.
  • Developing healthy and effective sleep behaviors.
  • Learning skills for calming the mind and managing stress.
  • Individualized sleep-wake scheduling, including sleep consolidation and stimulus control.
  • Eliminating sleep-incompatible behaviors.
  • The use of properly timed light exposure to reset the sleep-wake body clock, when indicated.

Treatments are provided in group or individual formats.

  • Group Treatment for Insomnia consists of five 90-minute sessions conducted in small groups of patients over 4-6 weeks. Although treatment is provided in a group setting, each patient receives an individualized set of recommendations that are tailored to fit individual goals and circumstances.

Individual Treatment for Insomnia consists of private (one-on-one) therapy sessions. The number, length and frequency of sessions vary depending on individual needs.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Sessions are led by Martha Stewart, FNP, PA-C.    Both providers have been specially trained in CBT for insomnia.