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What is Insomnia?

At SleepMS at O'Connor Health center, we diagnose and treat a wide range of sleep disorders, including acute and chronic insomnia. Dr. Alex A Clerk is the trusted sleep doctor in Jose, CA with over 19 years of experience and board certifications in both sleep medicine and neurology. Learn more about our insomnia treatments below, or request an appointment to sleep better and live better today.

If you have insomnia, then you are not alone. It is a common sleep disorder. About 30%  of adults have symptoms of insomnia. Less than 10%  of adults are likely to have chronic insomnia. It is more common among elderly people and women. Some medical conditions

cause insomnia, or it may be a side effect of a medication.

  1. Do you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, or do you wake up too early or feel unrefreshed after sleeping?

  2. For a child, does the child resist going to sleep or sleeping alone?

  3. Does this problem occur even though you have the opportunity and the time to get a good night's sleep?

  4. Do you have at least one of the following problems?

  • Low energy

  • Lack of motivation

  • Attention, concentration or memory problems

  • Poor performance at school or work

  • Extreme mood changes

  • Daytime sleepiness

  • Trouble making errors at work or while driving

  • Tension, headaches or stomach aches

  • Frustration or worry about your sleep

If your answer to these questions is yes, then you might have insomnia.

It is also important to know if there is something else that is causing your sleep problems.

They may be a result of one of the following:

  • Another sleep disorder

  • A medical condition

  • Medication use

  • A mental health disorder

  • Substance abuse

First, you should try to follow good sleep hygiene. You also may want to discuss your sleep problems with your primary care doctor. If insomnia causes you distress or daytime sleepiness, then you may want to visit a sleep specialist. He or she can find the cause and

treat your insomnia.


First, the doctor will need to know when your insomnia started. He or she will also want to know what else has been happening in your life. Finally, your medical history is very important. Be sure to tell the doctor if you are taking any medications.  (This  includes medicine that you may buy from the drugstore  without a prescription.)


Keep a sleep diary for two weeks. Record when you go to sleep and when you wake up, along with how long you were awake during the night. The sleep diary will help the doctor see your sleeping patterns. The sleep diary information gives the doctor clues about what is

causing your problem and how to correct it.

Doctors do not need any tests to treat most insomnia patients. A sleep specialist may give you a written test to analyze your mental and emotional well-being.  The specialist may need to test your blood in the lab if he or she suspects that you have a related medical problem.


You would need an overnight sleep study only if the doctor suspects that you may have sleep apnea or another sleep disorder.

Many cases of insomnia will respond to changes that you can make on your own. You can

often sleep better by simply following the practices of good sleep hygiene.

Sleep hygiene consists of basic habits and tips that help you develop a pattern of healthy sleep. There are also easy ways to make your bed and your bedroom more comfortable.  See the Resources section of this site to find out how you can start down the path to better

sleep. When self-treatment does not work, a doctor can provide help. He or she can teach you different ways to improve your sleep. An example of this is to use relaxation exercises when you go to bed.

If you believe you may be suffering from Insomnia, it is important to see a doctor who specializes in sleep medicine in order to properly diagnose and treat your condition. 

Dr. Clerk is a board-certified sleep specialist in San Jose, who is known for diagnosing and treating all kinds of sleep disorders for over 20 years. Call (408) 495-4532 today, or request an appointment today!

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