State of Insomnia Care and Current Effective Treatment Strategies: Ashgan Elshinawy, DO

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The pulmonologist at Penn Medicine provided an evaluation on whether patients with insomnia receive optimal care, and which treatments have proven to be most effective. [WATCH TIME: 3 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 3 minutes

"A lot of people will push sleep hygiene on people and give them medications they may or may not be familiar with. I don’t feel like it’s tailored to the patient’s needs, and things are not considered in terms of what other medications they’re on."

One of the most common sleep disorders, insomnia can make it hard for individuals to fall asleep, hard to stay asleep, or cause early awakening with trouble falling back asleep. Additionally, insomnia can sap not only an individual’s energy level and mood, but also their health, work performance, and quality of life. Additional symptoms of the condition include irritability, depression or anxiety, difficulties paying attention, focusing on tasks or remembering, and increased errors or accidents.

While insomnia may be the primary problem, it can be caused by other conditions such as mental health disorders or sleep-related disorders, such as sleep apnea and other prescription drug crossover, among others. Additionally, insomnia becomes more common with age. As a patient gets older, they may experience changes in sleep patterns, activity, health, and an increase in medications. Sleep problems for these patients may begin in childhood or adolescence and carry over into adulthood.

Ashgan A. Elshinawy, DO, a pulmonologist at Penn Medicine, has been caring for patients with sleep disorders for nearly 2 decades. In an interview with NeurologyLive®, Elshinawy provided insight on the current state of care for insomnia, whether treatment options are sufficient, and why clinicians need to continue to take the effort to understand effective therapeutic approaches such as cognitive behavioral therapy.

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