When is the right time to seek help for poor sleep? A person with insomnia needs a doctor’s attention if it lasts longer than three to four weeks, or sooner if it interferes with a person’s daytime activities and ability to function. In general, you should consider visiting your GP/Doctor if a lack of sleep is affecting your daily life and you feel that it’s a problem. Fatigue due to insomnia can affect your mood and create problems within your personal relationships and work environment.
The first step in treating insomnia is to diagnose and treat any underlying health condition, such as sleep disorders or anxiety, that may be causing your sleep problems.
Your GP is likely to discuss self-help tips for insomnia, which can help you sleep better (this is referred to as good sleep hygiene).
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) may sometimes be recommended, as it can help you to avoid thoughts and behaviours that are affecting your sleep. CBT is a type of talking therapy that can be carried out by your GP or a clinical psychologist. Most experts agree that CBT is more effective than sleeping pills, especially when treating long-term chronic insomnia. Find information on different sleep experts in here.
Sleeping tablets are usually the last resort and are often only used in the short-term with the smallest possible dose. This is because they can sometimes relieve the symptoms of insomnia but they don’t treat the cause. If you have long-term insomnia, sleeping tablets are unlikely to help.
When to go to the hospital? Generally, a person with insomnia will not be hospitalized. However, accidents may result from poor coordination and attention lapse due to sleep deprivation.
Worsening pain or increased difficulty breathing at night also may indicate a person needs to seek emergency medical care.