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Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Insomnia is a sleep disorder that is most commonly found in those who are dealing with stress. It may pass when stress ends, but sometimes it can continue after a period of stress has gone. Ultimately, insomnia affects the quality of your sleep and can interfere with your lifestyle at a certain point. Approximately 1 in 4 New Zealanders may suffer from a chronic sleeping problem, which highlights insomnia as a major public health issue in New Zealand. ISD, or Insomnia Sleep Disorder, can be triggered by a number of causes, including: overuse or withdrawal of alcohol and/or nicotine, caffeine at night, poor bedtime routines, shift work and more generic causes such as noise or light and heat conditions. Sleep is an important part of keeping you on track with your general health, so it is important that you seek the help you need in order to get your sleeping patterns back to normal. Insomnia is treated by undergoing cognitive behavioural therapy, medicines such as melatonin, zopiclone, temazepam or over-the-counter medicines. By using our online service Bettr, you can see a GP from the comfort of your own home. Our team will help you seek the treatment that best suits you.

What is insomnia?

Insomnia is a sleeping disorder that causes poor quality or quantity of sleep. Those who suffer from insomnia find it difficult to provide their bodies with adequate sleep, often leaving them fatigued and unable to complete everyday tasks. Suffering from insomnia can lead to further physical and mental health problems such as; depression, anxiety, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

What causes insomnia?

Insomnia is often caused by times of stress, and can pass when levels of stress decrease. There are a number of different causes to insomnia, and often these are circumstances that may lead to further health risks. Including:

  • Alcohol (mis-use or withdrawing)
  • Nicotine (mis-use or withdrawing)
  • Caffeine (mis-use or withdrawing)
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Overuse of Ibuprofen
  • Deficiency in B12 and Melatonin

What are the symptoms of insomnia?

Symptoms of insomnia can vary from minor to extreme. These symptoms can escalate over time, and may need medical treatment to dispel and to allow your sleeping patterns to get back on track.

Note: if you are suffering from any of the below symptoms, but aren’t sure if you are suffering from insomnia, it pays to get onto your symptoms quickly.

  • Tiredness. Fatigue and inability to perform daily tasks.
  • Poor concentration. Inability to concentrate on a task at hand, and losing focus.
  • Loss of interest in activities.
  • Poor work performance. Your work performance could be affected by lack of sleep and recharge necessary to fulfilling your job effectively.

Who can get insomnia?

Insomnia can be found in individuals from all walks of life. Recent research has shown that 45% of participants in New Zealand reported experiencing symptoms of insomnia. While children can suffer from the disorder, it is more commonly found in adults and elderly individuals. Insomnia can lead to further health problems, so it is important that you act on symptoms quickly. You are able to do so on our online service, Bettr. We have a team of professionals who will be able to help you, and find a treatment for your insomnia that best suits you.

How is insomnia treated?

Medication – Upon assessment, your local GP is likely to prescribe you with a type of medication which will help to mitigate your symptoms of insomnia. Finding the right medication to help treat your problem can be trial and error, and you need to find a medication that fits best with you and your lifestyle.

Therapy – Alternatively, you can visit a therapist who specialises in treating those with insomnia and other disorders. Your GP will help to determine which treatment is best for you, and will explain what is available locally.

Lifestyle - With professional advice, treating insomnia can be as simple as making changes to your lifestyle, this may include adopting a healthy diet, avoiding alcohol, nicotine and reducing caffeine intake. One of our team members will help to determine what you can best benefit from.

What do I do if I have insomnia?

If you are suffering from any of the symptoms listed above and believe you are suffering from insomnia, it is important to act quickly. Without treatment, insomnia can lead to further health problems down the track. If you aren’t sure if you have insomnia but your symptoms align, talking to a professional will help.

Get in touch with a GP via our online service, Bettr. We connect you with a GP that will help to guide you through your symptoms, and outline the best possible treatment available to you. To do this, book a consultation today.

Same day appointments are available, alongside online prescriptions. There is no need to download an app or re-register with your GP.

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If you're in Auckland you can register today and see a doctor for $45. You can also see a doctor in-person at any of our 40+ GP clinics for under $20*. Learn More