Living with insomnia can be extremely frustrating. You lie down to go to sleep, feeling tired, but as soon as your head hits the pillow, you find you are wide awake and no amount of tossing and turning can help you fall asleep. Many people who experience this attribute it simply to insomnia, but only about 10% of insomnia diagnoses are pure insomnia, meaning they have no outside cause.
More often, insomnia is the result of another mental health challenge, but effective treatment will involve looking at both issues concurrently.
External Causes of Insomnia
Some of the most frequent mental health causes of insomnia are anxiety, depression, alcohol use, or other drug use. If you are regularly drinking or using drugs, this is often one of the first places to look for a solution to insomnia by cutting down or stopping use until you can return to getting a good night’s sleep.
If you are taking prescription medication that impacts your sleep, you should speak with your doctor about your side effects to determine a potential change in medication or other solutions that may help without threatening your treatment.
Determining if insomnia is the result of anxiety or depression can be slightly more difficult if you have not already received a diagnosis for either of these conditions, but insomnia that results from anxiety and depression often has certain characteristics rather than simply the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep. These characteristics include:
- Racing thoughts when you lie down to go to bed.
- Rapid heartbeat when you have been laying in bed for a while and should have a resting heart rate.
- Night terrors that wake you up in the middle of the night.
- Feeling nervous that you will not feel rested tomorrow.
- Waking up multiple times per night.
- Waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to go back to sleep.
For any of these or other reasons, it is beneficial to seek treatment for depression and anxiety as well as insomnia. At Aware Behavioral Health, we view our patients comprehensively and use our experience in treating a variety of mental health concerns. If you are experiencing insomnia, we will work with you to determine the possible causes so that we give you a more effective and long lasting solution for your mental health. Set up an appointment to get started with insomnia treatment in Dallas.