You may be having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep all night for a variety of reasons. This include stressful life events and health problems. Additionally, short-term insomnia that lasts only a few days or a week (acute insomnia) can develop into chronic insomnia, which is longer-term insomnia that persists after the initial stressor. However, you don’t have to, and you shouldn’t, endure short- or long-term insomnia. It is possible to retrain your mind and body to receive the sleep you require to remain both happy and healthy. This can be done through lifestyle changes, therapies, and other treatments.
Sometimes Changing Your Lifestyle Can Help With Insomnia
In the case of a minor instance that has just been an issue for a few days or weeks, doctors will probably suggest making a few lifestyle adjustments to encourage better sleep.
Dr. Hrayr P. Attarian, a sleep medicine expert at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, claims that he always examines a person’s sleeping and waking patterns as a starting point.
Here are some excellent sleep hygiene tips from Dr. Attarian.
Follow a sleeping schedule: whether it’s Wednesday or Sunday, this entails going to bed and waking up about the same time.
- Get some natural light: natural light in the morning tells your brain it’s time to be awake. This also helps keep your body clock regular. So you’ll be more likely to go to sleep at the right time later that night.
- Steer clear of anything that interferes with your ability to fall asleep: such as coffee and cigarette products that can linger in your system for eight hours.
- Spend no more than 30 minutes napping during the day.
- Put electronics away at least an hour before going to bed.
- Just use the bed for sleeping.
- Create a cool, quiet, and dark environment that encourages sleep.
- Don’t spend hours in bed trying if you’ve tried everything and are still experiencing issues. After 20 to 30 minutes, get out of bed and do something soothing if you are having trouble falling asleep and still worry about it.
Sleeping pills can help you get to sleep, stay asleep or both. Doctors generally don’t recommend relying on prescription sleeping pills for more than a few weeks, but several medications are approved for long-term use. Examples comprise:
- Eszopiclone (Lunesta)
- Ramelteon (Rozerem)
- Zaleplon (Sonata)
- Zolpidem (Ambien, Edluar, Intermezzo, Zolpimist)
Speak to your doctor about these prescriptions and other potential adverse effects. Prescription sleeping tablets can have negative effects, such as raising the risk of falling and creating daytime drowsiness.
Over-the-counter sleep aids
Antihistamines used in over-the-counter sleep aids can cause drowsiness, but they’re not meant to be taken regularly. Before taking them, see your doctor since antihistamine side effects. This may be severe in older persons, include daytime sleepiness, dizziness, confusion, cognitive impairment, and problems urinating.