You may be suffering from insomnia if you can’t fall asleep in less than twenty minutes, and counting a few hundred sheep! Issues of waking up too early, staying asleep and difficulty falling asleep, and other symptoms of insomnia, affect around 30-35% of all adults. On top of that, sleep difficulties that occur for three or more times a week for three months or more, i.e. chronic insomnia affects about 10% of adults.   

Insomnia Causes

Restless leg syndrome, stress, menopause, depression, pregnancy and pain are some of the main conditions normally associated with insomnia. This condition may also be caused by various medications including some allergy, cold and asthma drugs, Parkinson’s disease, high blood pressure and even ADHD medications. You ability to have a good night’s sleep may also be interrupted by food sensitivities, tobacco, caffeine and alcohol.  

Improve Sleep With These Tips 

You can improve the quality of your sleep with a few lifestyle changes. 

Every day of the week, weekends included, be sure to go to bed and wake up at the same time. 

Use a hot bath or reading or any other calming activity as your bed time ritual. 

Since screens emit light that may disrupt your sleep, avoid electronics at bedtime. 

While ensuring that you don’t do it too close to bedtime, try to put in a 20-30 minute workout on a daily basis. 

Medications that disrupt sleep, caffeine, tobacco and alcohol should not be taken right before you go to bed. Avoid eating a big meal too close to your bed time as well.  

Ensure that your bedroom is quiet and dark, and the room temperature is comfortable. 

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Don’t take late afternoon naps. 

If you are unable to fall asleep, get up and do something quiet, before going back to be when you start feeling tired. 

It is normal for you to get sleepy during the day. Difficulty concentrating, lack of motivation or energy, low productivity and mood swings are some of the other common symptoms of insomnia. You should see a doctor, if you feel like insomnia is impacting your daily activities. 

A physical exam, as well as sleep and medical histories can be used to diagnose insomnia. 

If the cause of the insomnia is not found, a sleep study may be recommended. To help you sleep, you doctor may prescribe certain drugs referred to as hypnotics. Since they lose their effectiveness over time, and can be addictive, these meds are normally prescribed for short periods of time.  
To help you change actions and thoughts that can interfere with sleep, CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) may be recommended. To promote restful sleep and reduce anxiety, CBT normally uses approaches like biofeedback and relaxation training among others.