Insomnia Tips

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Tips to CureINSOMNIA By Rae Mazzei, Psy.d.

WHAT IS INSOMNIA?Difficulty falling or staying asleep, even when aperson has the chance to do so

FACTS ABOUT INSOMNIA?Common sleep problem for adults.The National Institutes of Health estimates that 30% of the general population complains of sleep disruption, and 10% have associated symptoms of daytime functional impairment consistent with the diagnosis of insomnia.In a 2005 National Sleep Foundation Poll, more than half of people reported at least one symptom of insomnia at least a few nights per week within the past year.33% said they had at least one of these symptoms every night or almost every night in the past year.The two most common symptoms, experienced at least a few nights a week in the past year, included waking up feeling unrefreshed and waking up a lot during the night.A 2002 NSF Poll found that 63% of women (versus 54% of men) experienced symptoms of insomnia at least a few nights per week.

WHAT CAUSES INSOMNIA?Psychological problems:depression, anxiety, chronic stress, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder.Medications:antidepressants; cold and flu medications that contain alcohol; pain relievers that contain caffeine (Midol, Excedrin); diuretics, corticosteroids, thyroid hormone, high blood pressure medications.Medical problems:asthma, allergies, Parkinsons disease, hyperthyroidism, acid reflux, kidney disease, cancer, chronic pain.Sleep disorders:sleep apnea, narcolepsy, restless legs syndrome.


Tips for falling asleep

Carve out at least 30 minutes of wind-down time before bed in which you do something relaxing, such as read a book.

Tips for falling asleepDisconnect from close-range electronic devices such as laptops, phones, and tablets, which can interfere with sleep

Do not drink caffeine in the afternoon or later. Try herbal teas, such as a nighttime tea. Limit or avoid alcohol, which interferes with sleep quality. Tips for falling

Do a relaxation exercise or meditate Tips for falling asleepProgressive Muscle Relaxation has shown to be especially

Tips for falling asleep

Focus on positive emotions. Think about what you are grateful for and what made you recently happy. Try to leave your negative thoughts and worrying for another time. Write down your to-dos so that you dont think about them while falling

If you get into bed and cannot fall asleep after 20 minutes, get up and go to another space in the house to do a relaxing activity, such as reading or listening to music. Once you are tired, return to bed. You should associate your bed with sleep and sex only.Tips for falling

Tips for falling asleep

Fall asleep and wake up at the same time every day. Keeping a schedule will help your body establish regular sleep patterns.

Tips for falling asleep

Sleep deprivation: Naps can interfere with your sleep quality during the night. Try to limit napping during the day.

Take a warm bath with essential oils, such as lavender, and bubble bath. This will help relax your mind and body.Tips for falling

Aromatherapy has been shown to help some people fall asleep more easily. You can use an aromatherapy diffuser at night to diffuse the oil into a mist. Tips for falling

Listen to a boring podcast or radio program that will help lull you to sleep. Tips for falling asleep

For those who struggle with acid reflux during the night, eliminate sleep busting foods, such as spicy, sugary, and deep fried foods and alcohol. Tips for falling

Tips for falling asleep

Eat a balanced diet full of vegetables, complex carbohydrates and good quality protein.Maintain your blood sugar levels by limiting sugary foods.Give your dinner time to digest before heading to bed. Try limiting eating at least 1 hour prior to bed. Longer if possible.Add turmeric, nutmeg, sage, basil, parsley, and/or dill to your dinner.

Taking certain supplements, such as melatonin and theanine, may help to improve sleep quality. Talk to your healthcare provider for specific supplements that may facilitate improved sleep.Tips for falling

Invest in a goodmattress, sheets and pillowsTips for falling

Maintain a sleep diary. You can find many of these online. This will help to identify patterns that may be impacting your sleep.Tips for falling

Controlling your temperature can improve sleep quality.Tips for avoiding waking up too early

Make sure your sleep environment is quiet and dark throughout the night.Use darkening shades to block streetlights and early morning light.Consider earplugs or a fan or noise machine to block sounds.Keep your clock turned away from you.

Tips for avoiding waking up too

Light therapy:purchase a light that mimics sunlight in the morning. These lights are thought to assist in wakening. Verilux is one manufacturer of these lights. Tips for waking up refreshed