What is insomnia?

There are two main types of insomnia: short-term and chronic. 

  • Short-term, adjustment, or acute insomnia

    • Usually in response to a stressor and often resolves when that stressor is eliminated or resolved

    • Lasts a few days to a few weeks (less than 3 months)

    • Can lead to chronic insomnia if poor sleep habits develop during this time period

  • Chronic insomnia

    • Insomnia symptoms occur at least 3 nights per week for at least 3 months

    • Sometimes triggered by an event, but not necessarily

Patients with insomnia often have difficulty with daytime functioning (e.g. fatigue, concentration difficulties, trouble with work/school, traffic accidents, etc). These difficulties are present even when there is adequate opportunity for sleep. 

Three types of difficulty with sleep are common:

  • Difficulty falling asleep/sleep initiation - unable to fall asleep within 30 minutes (typically adults fall asleep in 10-20 minutes of laying down for bed)

  • Sleep continuity/sleep maintenance - spend at least 30 minutes awake during the night

  • Early morning awakening - sleep ends at least 30 minutes prior to wake up time

How does Plume treat insomnia? 

Plume can help patients experiencing insomnia by prescribing medication. Please note we currently are not prescribing controlled substances for insomnia such as Ambien, Lunesta, Restoril, or Belsomra.

What are some tips to improve my sleep?

There are habits and routines that can help you fall asleep and stay asleep.  These are called ‘sleep hygiene’.  Here's a list of different ways you can improve your sleep.  

  • Wake up and go to sleep at the same time every day.  This helps your body create a regular sleep schedule.

  • Avoid naps, especially ones longer than an hour or ones that are later in the day.

  • Avoid caffeine after lunch

  • Avoid alcohol.  It may help you fall asleep, but the sleep you get is not good quality.

  • Keep your sleep area quiet and dark. Some tools to do so include:

    • white noise

    • ear plugs

    • room darkening curtains

    • Sleep mask

  • Don’t eat a big meal before bed

  • Use your bed only for sleep and sex.  This helps your brain make a stronger connection between sleep and your bed.  

  • Limit screens:  turn off or put away electronics (TV, cell phone, computer) 30 minutes before bed

  • Exercise daily , at least 4 to 6 hours before bedtime

  • Create a relaxing bedtime routine.  This may include gentle stretching, meditation, yoga, taking a warm bath/shower, etc. Practicing this same routine every night helps clue your body into knowing it is time to fall asleep

  • If you don’t fall asleep within 20 minutes, get out of bed and do something quiet in a place where there isn’t a lot of light.  Do not get on electronics during this time.  

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) is a way to treat insomnia.  In many cases, it helps with sleep problems better than taking medications.  CBT-I can be done in person, but it can be hard to find someone certified to do CBT-I.  CBT-I can be done online and through an app on your phone.  Here are some digital options: