Health Watch - Sleep Disorders: Insomnia

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about sleep disorders. One of the more common sleep disorders is insomnia. Who hasn’t spent the occasional sleepless night, tossing and turning? But when you have trouble sleeping night after night, your waking life may suffer.

Dr. John Herman, a sleep expert at UT Southwestern Medical Center, defines insomnia as regularly spending more than 15 percent of your sleep time awake — that’s a little more than an hour for an eight-hour night. If you spend an hour a night awake for weeks, or most nights for months, you may need to seek help. At UT Southwestern’s Sleep and Breathing Disorders Center, doctors use medication and behavioral therapies to treat insomnia. Doctors recommend cutting late-day caffeine consumption, establishing a bedtime routine and avoiding stimulating activities near bedtime.

Visit UTSW Medicine to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in sleep and breathing disorders.


January 2008

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