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Insomnia concerns
Insomnia concerns


Definition:



Alternative Names:

Sleep issues; Difficulty falling asleep



Information:

Insomnia is difficulty falling or staying asleep. In many cases, it can be relieved with a few simple behavioral changes or medication. Talk with your health care provider if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Excessive sleepiness during the day
  • History of falling asleep during the day at inappropriate times
  • Nightmares or disturbing thoughts that keep you awake
  • Pain, frequent urination, or unusual sensations that keep you awake
  • Significant trouble getting out of bed in the morning
  • Sleep that does not refresh you
  • Waking up several times throughout the night
  • Waking up early in the morning

Here are some simple tips to get a better night's sleep:

  1. If possible, go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
  2. Avoid performing activities such as eating and working in your bed.
  3. Avoid strenuous activity 2 hours before going to bed.
  4. Avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages in the evening.
  5. Avoid eating heavy meals at least 2 hours before going to sleep.
  6. Develop a bedtime routine that includes calming, relaxing activities.
  7. Make sure your sleep environment is quiet, dark, and is at a comfortable temperature.

Do something relaxing just before bedtime (such as reading or taking a bath) so that you don't dwell on worrisome issues. Watching TV or using a computer may be stimulating to some people and disturb their 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.

See also: Sleep disorders

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 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.

See also:




Review Date: 4/25/2008
Reviewed By: Allen J. Blaivas, DO, Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, Department of Veteran Affairs, VA System, East Orange, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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789 Central Avenue, Dover, NH 03820
Phone: (603) 742-5252
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