Modern Migraine MD

Help! I Can Get to Sleep but I Can't Stay Asleep

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Help! I Can Get to Sleep but I Can't Stay Asleep
Are you able to fall asleep at night but find yourself waking up throughout the night or too early in the morning? You could be one of the 25% of American adults struggling with insomnia. Here’s what you need to know.

At least one-third of American adults struggle with a sleep disorder, which can include conditions like sleep apnea. For the majority of US adults with sleep problems (at least 25%), the culprit is one or another form of insomnia. 

You may think insomnia means an inability to fall asleep, but the truth is insomnia can take different forms and trigger different symptoms. If you don’t have any problems falling asleep, but find yourself waking throughout the night, insomnia could be the cause. 

At Modern Migraine MD, board-certified neurologist Risa Ravitz, MD, and our team understand the frustration disordered sleeping causes. As part of our comprehensive neurological services, our team offers evaluations, diagnosis, and treatment for many types of sleep disorders.  

If you’re concerned about your sleep, contact Dr. Ravitz for a sleep disorder workup at one of our locations in Manhattan, NYC, Toms River, New Jersey, Aventura, Florida, or virtually in 13 states. 

In the meantime, keep reading to learn more about insomnia and the ways we can help.     

Understanding the basics of insomnia

Insomnia is a sleep disorder that can take different forms. Not all types of insomnia manifest the same symptoms. For some people, insomnia can make it difficult to fall asleep, but the disorder can also:

  • Make it difficult to stay asleep
  • Cause you to wake up too early
  • Trigger daytime fatigue/sleepiness

The condition can also mean you feel tired even after sleeping and lead to issues with mood, concentration, school or work performance, and low energy. Some rare forms of insomnia can lead to coma and even death. 

Since people believe substances like alcohol or drugs can help them stay asleep, people struggling with insomnia also have a higher risk of substance abuse. In turn, substance abuse affects your brain chemistry and can lead to even more sleep issues.     

Chronic vs. short-term insomnia

When something stressful happens, like anxiety over an upcoming project or event, a big life change, like a move, or even something as simple as eating too close to bedtime, you might struggle to fall or stay asleep because of hormonal changes in your body. 

This short-term insomnia can last one night, or it might stick around for a week or so. It usually resolves on its own once the issue triggering it gets resolved or ends. 

Sometimes, however, insomnia doesn’t resolve. Other times, insomnia develops without a known stressor or cause. When you experience insomnia at least 3 nights a week for a month or longer, you have chronic insomnia. 

People with chronic insomnia have it for different reasons, including:

  • Underlying medical or neurological condition
  • Poor sleep hygiene and habits
  • Untreated mental health conditions
  • Genetics or family history
  • Circadian rhythm disorders

It’s important to make an appointment with a specialist, like Dr. Ravitz, to determine the underlying cause. When not treated, chronic insomnia negatively affects all aspects of your physical and mental health.  

Help for your insomnia

Before recommending personalized sleep disorder treatment options, it’s important to understand the cause of your sleep trouble and accurately diagnose your condition. At Modern Migraine MD, Dr. Ravitz performs a comprehensive sleep disorder workup, which may include:

  • Medical history evaluation
  • Sleep history evaluation
  • Physical exam
  • Current sleep symptoms
  • New sleep study or review of existing sleep study

 If you’ve already been diagnosed with a sleep disorder, Dr. Ravitz offers customized help so you can better manage your symptoms. For patients who can’t come to the office, our team offers virtual telehealth assessments through HIPAA-compliant telehealth appointments.

Get the help you need so you can sleep through the night by scheduling an in-person or virtual appointment with Dr. Ravitz at Modern Migraine MD.