Insomnia is a sleep disorder where people have poor sleep. This may manifest as difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep, early wakening, or sleep that leaves you feeling unrefreshed.
Insomnia is categorised into short-term (1 to 4 weeks) and long-term (4 weeks or longer).
1 in 3 adults may be affected by insomnia.
Insomnia can have a significant impact on quality of life including daytime tiredness, poor concentration, irritability, depression and anxiety, poor performance at work or when performing tasks.
Insomnia commonly occurs for no apparent reason. However, some underlying causes may contribute to poor sleep:
- Stress, anxiety or depression;
- Physical health problems;
- Stimulants (alcohol, caffeine, nicotine);
- Shift work;
- Poor sleep hygiene.
An assessment for insomnia involves assessing the impact on quality of life, duration of symptoms, sleep hygiene and for suspected secondary causes of insomnia.
Some people are asked to keep sleep diaries as these can identify habits that may affect the inability to achieve a good nights sleep.
The basis of insomnia treatment is developing good sleep hygiene by making people aware of the factors that might be detrimental or beneficial to sleep.
Common advice includes: establishing fixed times for going to bed and waking, maintaining a comfortable sleeping environment, and avoiding stimulants, heavy exercise or stimulants late at night.
Sleeping tablets are not commonly advised but a short course of treatment may help reset a sleeping pattern.
Medicinal cannabis may be considered when first line therapies have not achieved adequate benefit.
Arrange a Referral
At Sapphire London we operate on a doctor to doctor referral basis. We accept referrals from GP’s and consultants. This is to ensure that the patient’s condition has been fully assessed by a qualified physician and all other treatment options have been attempted.
For doctors to refer a patient to us, please click here to fill and securely submit a referral form.