L. David Willison IV, MD, PhD

Psychiatrist located in Westwood, Los Angeles, CA

Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that leads to tiredness and difficulty concentrating during the day. Psychiatrist L. David Willison IV, MD, PhD, diagnoses and treats children, adolescents, and adults with insomnia at his private practice in Los Angeles. If you or your child has trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, call to book an appointment today.

Insomnia Q & A

What is insomnia?

Insomnia is a sleep disturbance that makes it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep at night. Sometimes, insomnia causes you to wake up much earlier than you want to. This lack of restorative sleep leads to problems during the day, such as sleepiness, irritability, and problems with memory and attention.

This impairment in concentration can decrease your performance at work or school and lead to mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety disorders.

What are the symptoms of insomnia?

Insomnia symptoms may vary depending on the duration and severity of the sleep disturbance. Common symptoms of insomnia include:

  • Difficulty falling asleep at night
  • Difficulty staying asleep at night
  • Waking up too early in the morning
  • Anxiety about going to bed and being able to sleep
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Decreased attention span
  • Increase in errors or accidents.
  • Memory problems.
  • Depression.

Children and teenagers with insomnia may also experience performance or disciplinary problems at school.

What causes insomnia?

Insomnia can be a standalone problem, or it may be associated with other conditions. The many causes of insomnia in children, adolescents, and adults include:

  • Caffeine or other stimulants
  • Side effects of certain medications
  • Medical conditions such as uncontrolled asthma
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism
  • Environmental factors such as heat, light, and noise

Stress is another common cause of long-term insomnia, even in kids and teenagers. Family conflicts or problems at school can cause children to suffer from excessive stress that leads to insomnia.

How is insomnia treated?

Dr. Willison has extensive expertise in treating children, adolescents, and adults who struggle with insomnia. He specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which is a safe and effective insomnia treatment for patients of all ages.

Using CBT, Dr. Willison teaches you or your child to identify and change any negative thoughts or worries that make it hard to fall asleep. He also helps you establish and maintain good sleep habits and avoid behaviors that interfere with sleep.

For severe cases of insomnia, Dr. Willison may recommend medication to help you fall asleep and stay asleep. He may also recommend nonpharmaceutical methods to control insomnia, such as going outside during daylight or using a light box to regulate your internal clock.

If insomnia is interfering with your life or the life of your child, call the office of L. David Willison IV, MD, PhD, to book an appointment today.

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