Do you have difficultly falling or staying asleep? If so, you are not alone. Americans list insomnia as their number one sleep complaint. Insomnia can be acute, lasting one to a few nights, or chronic, lasting months to even years. For most people, bouts of sleeplessness occur for a short period of time, followed by a return to normal sleep patterns. For others, it can be a cycle of sleeplessness resulting in exacerbation of the underlying cause of the insomnia. If you suffer from acute insomnia, simple changes in your daily routine such as limiting the consumption of alcohol and caffeine, or changing exercise routines may alleviate this problem. You should also talk to your doctor about any medications you are taking, as they could cause disturbances in sleep. While the rates of insomnia do tend to increase with age, most cases are connected to some other medical condition. Women may also suffer loss of sleep in connection with menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. For those with chronic insomnia, it is essential to diagnose the cause. While insomnia itself can be a disorder, it is typically a symptom of another problem such as stress and anxiety over family or work matters, or medical conditions such as digestive problems, pain, Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) or Sleep Apnea. If lack of sleep is affecting your life, you may benefit from a diagnostic sleep study. Consult your physician, or call to make an appointment with the UMMC North Sleep Center for diagnostic and treatment options (281) 453-7110.