Insomnia is difficulty falling or staying asleep. In many cases, changing a few behaviors can help you sleep better. Sometimes, medication is needed. Behavioral changes should be tried first.
Talk with your doctor or nurse if any of the following symptoms interfere with your ability to function during the day:
Here are some simple tips to get a better night's sleep:
Do something relaxing just before bedtime (such as reading or taking a bath) so that you don't think about worrisome thoughts. Watching TV or using a computer may be stimulating and disturb your ability to fall asleep. If you can't fall asleep within 30 minutes, get up and move to another room and engage in a quiet activity until you feel sleepy.
One method of preventing worries from keeping you awake is to keep a journal before going to bed. List all issues that worry you. By this method you transfer your worries from your thoughts to paper, leaving your mind quieter and more ready to fall asleep.
HOW MUCH SLEEP IS ENOUGH?
While 7 - 8 hours a night is recommended for most people, children and teenagers need more. Older people tend to do fine with less sleep at night, but may still require approximately 8 hours of sleep over a 24-hour period. The quality of sleep is as important as how much sleep you get.
Sleep issues; Difficulty falling asleep; Insomnia concerns
Morin CM, Benca R. Chronic insomnia. Lancet. 2012;379(9821):1129-41.
Updated by: Allen J. Blaivas, DO, Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine UMDNJ-NJMS, Attending Physician in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, Department of Veteran Affairs, VA New Jersey Health Care System, East Orange, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
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