Insomnia, or the ongoing inability to fall asleep and/or stay asleep, is a condition over 40 percent of Americans suffer from. Another 10-15 percent suffer from chronic insomnia. Consistently getting full cycles of sleep is vital for mental and physical health. When sleep is impaired, it accelerates the risk of many health issues. While some causes of insomnia may seem obvious, such as stress and anxiety, there are often other underlying sources for sleep disturbances that may not be as apparent, such as nutritional deficiencies, food allergies, hormonal imbalances, or levels of toxicity in the body’s tissues. At Los Angeles Integrative Medicine, our insomnia doctor completes a comprehensive exam that takes in the many possible attributes to an individual’s sleep disorder to create a treatment plan that addresses prevention as well as immediate relief.
Prolonged insomnia increases a person’s risk for:
- Accelerated aging
- Lesser physical performance
- Slowed mental acuity
- Decreased immune function
- Mental and emotional disorders
- Memory and concentration disruptions
What causes insomnia?
As stated above, insomnia can be caused be a variety of sources. Often time’s prolonged insomnia comes from a combination of sources and/or conditions. System imbalance within the body can lead to many different conditions which include symptoms of insomnia. Conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome, Hashimoto’s disease, fibromyalgia, and other autoimmune disorders often lead to insomnia, among many other symptoms. They may directly cause insomnia, or they can cause other symptoms that in turn lead to insomnia. Finding an insomnia doctor is the best way to identify any constellation of related symptoms.
Some direct causes of insomnia may include:
- Digestive upset
- Food allergies
- Hot flashes/Night sweats
- Immune imbalance
- Nutritional/mineral deficiencies
- Imbalanced neurotransmitters
Treating insomnia begins with seeing the bigger picture. This process will include an interview aimed at recognizing any interrelated symptoms you may have. We will review your diet, lifestyle habits, stress levels, medical history, and may request lab tests to further rule in or out specific contributing factors.
What are some of the treatments for insomnia?
Treatment for insomnia will look different for each individual. A treatment plan will address all underlying causes of the condition, potentially including other, broader conditions. For some people, a treatment plan may include practices in reducing stress, dietary restrictions, and balancing hormones. For others it may include nutritional supplements, addressing sources of pain, and an exercise routine. Our insomnia doctor creates treatment plans as varied as the patients who come to see him. Each person is unique and each treatment will be as well.