nsomnia is one of the most common health problems in our society. It can involve being unable to get to sleep or having difficulty staying asleep. Some people also struggle with waking early in the morning and being unable to return to sleep.
Without restful sleep, it is difficult to function properly at work or in social situations. Insomniacs frequently feel tired throughout the day, lack needed energy and can often make dangerous mistakes as a result.
Insomnia can occur as a disorder in itself, or as a secondary problem caused by something else. Many other illnesses can cause insomnia and some medications can cause it as well. If insomnia is occurring as a secondary effect, treating the underlying condition may eliminate the problem.
There are many available treatments for insomnia - medications and behavioural solutions. Non medicinal methods include:
- Avoid stimulants such as caffeine or nicotine late in the day
- Use your bed only as a place to sleep
- Make the bedroom a relaxing, comfortable place
- Make the bedroom as dark and quiet as possible
- Avoid eating heavy foods right before bed
- Avoid strenuous mental or physical activity before bed
- Keep a consistent sleep schedule (going to bed and waking up at the same time each day)
- Regular exercise during the day
- Relaxation techniques to reduce stress and worry
These techniques don't work for everyone. Sometimes more medical treatment is required. Make sure to visit a doctor and have the problem properly diagnosed.
Insomnia Resource Links
- Doctor's guide Insomnia
- National Center on Sleep Disorders
- National Sleep Foundation
- About Sleep Disorders
- Medline Plus - Sleep Disorders
- Sleepdex - Resources for better sleep