Although we frequently talk about a person "having" insomnia, the National Sleep Foundation points out that insomnia – the situation where someone can't fall asleep, despite being tired – nearly always has a cause. It’s more accurate, then, to say that insomnia is a symptom rather than a disease. 

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Postmenopausal women are at an especially high risk of obstructive sleep apnea as a cause of insomnia. Studies have indicated that more than 40% patients with insomnia have obstructive sleep apnea. To treat insomnia, then, we need to understand what is causing the difficulty in sleeping, and working to resolve that condition. 


Some common causes of insomnia include:

  • Sinus or breathing problems, like allergies or asthma
  • Gastrointestinal problems, such as reflux
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Chronic pain conditions
  • Certain medications
  • Certain psychological conditions

Some people even experience insomnia as a symptom of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Although they believe they are awake throughout the early part of the night, they are actually falling asleep and then waking back up from the apnea episodes. Because they are asleep so briefly, their brain doesn't register the change in state.


The first step for treating insomnia is to find out what's causing it. To do that, the doctors at Prana Healthcare will talk to you about your sleep habits and hygiene, your daily routine, any medications you take or co-occurring health conditions that you are managing. We may recommend an overnight sleep study in our sleep laboratory, depending on what we find during your initial consultation.


You don't have to be held back by insomnia. Once the root cause is discovered, it's often possible to treat insomnia with lifestyle changes and healthy approaches, rather than adding sleep medications which have the potential to be addictive and cause daytime drowsiness, and which have also been associated with increased risk of dementia, when used over the long term. Contact Prana Healthcare today to get a better night's sleep.