Insomnia Specialist

Kirsten Thompson, M.D. -  - Psychiatrist

Kirsten Thompson, M.D.

Psychiatrist located in Los Angeles, CA

When patients suffer from prolonged insomnia that affects their day to day lives, Kirsten Thompson, MD provides effective psychiatric care to help manage the disorder. She treats patients from her office in Brentwood, Los Angeles, California.

Insomnia Q & A

by Kirsten Thompson, M.D.

What Is Insomnia?

Insomnia is a condition where a patient experiences difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, even when he or she is tired and in a comfortable sleeping environment. Dr. Thompson sees patients who feel dissatisfied with the quality and quantity of their sleep and are experiencing at least one of following symptoms: fatigue, low energy, difficulty concentrating, mood disturbances, and decreased performance in work or at school. Insomnia occurs in both acute and chronic forms, depending on its duration. Acute insomnia usually only lasts for a night or two and is usually due to a specific event or concern, like nervousness about a specific event or sometimes after receiving bad news. Chronic insomnia, however, occurs at least 3 nights each week and lasts for at least 3. Chronic insomnia can be caused by a number of factors including mental health disorders, hormonal imbalances, unhealthy sleep habits, or certain medications.

Why Is Good Sleep Important?

Insomnia leads to daytime fatigue which causes problems with intellectual function and mental/emotional responses. If a patient is already suffering from certain mental health issues, insomnia can magnify some of the symptoms. It also affects the immune system, making the patient more susceptible to other illnesses. Poor sleep leads to an increase in irritability, poor cognitive function, weight gain, and more.

How Does Dr. Thompson Treat Insomnia?

Dr. Thompson often treats patients who suffer from insomnia as a symptom of a mental health issue or as a side effect from certain medications. As a psychiatrist, Dr. Thompson has had extensive training on psychopharmacology and has a thorough understanding of not only the potential side effects of drugs but also the unintended consequences of some drug interactions. When you speak to Dr. Thompson about your insomnia, make sure to share the full list of any medications or supplements you take including vitamins and herbal supplements. If there is a potential interaction between any of the drugs you take, Dr. Thompson will address that situation. When insomnia is a symptom of another mental health condition, Dr. Thompson will provide counseling and coaching on good sleep practices and relaxation techniques. She may also encourage changes to diet and exercise to help a patient achieve a healthier lifestyle overall which can contribute to improved sleep.