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Lyon Primary Care

Primary Care Physician located in Midtown, New York, NY

While a few sleepless nights now and then are common for most of us, the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep each night can create significant problems in your life. At Lyon Primary Care in Midtown, New York, NY, we can help. Our primary care specialist, Valerie Lyon, M.D., can uncover the reasons for your sleeplessness and create a personalized insomnia treatment strategy that can help you sleep soundly through the night. Call our office today to make an appointment.

Insomnia Q&A

What is insomnia?

Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep and may include early awakenings that occur long before your alarm sounds its wakeup call. Acute insomnia is a short-term issue that lasts for several days. If you’ve had difficulty sleeping for a month or more, your insomnia is chronic (long-term) and will likely require medical treatment.

What are the complications of chronic insomnia?

Sleep is as important to your physical and mental health as a nutritious diet and routine exercise. Along with the expected daytime sleepiness and tiredness, insomnia can cause:

  • Irritability
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Difficulty focusing on tasks
  • Decrease in mental acuity and memory
  • Increased accidents due to slow reaction times
  • Elevated risk of drug abuse

Inadequate sleep can also affect your physical health. It’s been shown to increase your risk of developing serious medical conditions, such as elevated blood pressure and heart disease. If you already have a chronic disease, lack of sleep may worsen the severity of your illness.

What causes insomnia?

Insomnia can be traced to a wide variety of potential causes, including:

  • Stress over concerns about work, family, finances or other issues
  • Changes in your travel or work schedule or frequently changing work shifts that disrupt your circadian rhythm, which guides your sleep-wake cycles
  • An irregular bedtime schedule, taking naps in the afternoon, and engaging in exercise or other stimulating activities before bedtime
  • Consuming heavy meals late in the evening before bedtime

Other factors or issues that can interfere with your sleep include:

  • Certain prescription medications
  • Depression and anxiety that can make it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep
  • Medical conditions such as chronic pain, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and asthma
  • Menopause and other issues that cause hormonal imbalances
  • Sleep-related disorders such as sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome

What is the treatment for insomnia?

The first and most crucial step in treating insomnia is discovering what’s causing your sleeplessness. Along with a physical exam and careful review of your symptoms, we may recommend further diagnostic studies such as a sleep study, lab work, and a sleep habits review.

Once we’ve determined a likely cause for your insomnia, we may recommend a combination of treatments, including prescription or over-the-counter medication, relaxation exercises, changes to your sleep environment, and other known sleep-inducing therapies.

Call our office today to make an appointment.