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How To Counter Insomnia

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You’re Working All The Time

When to Treat Insomnia With Prescription Medication

Standard sleep advice says to only use your bedroom for sleep and intimacy. But your bedroom might be the only quiet space to work from home. And that proximity between your work space and your sleep space can keep deadlines and work questions spinning through your head at night.

How to beat it: If you must work from your bedroom, sit at a desk or chair rather than working from your bed. That will help create that psychological separation that when you’re lying in bed its time for your brain to turn off, Patel said.

Use The Bed Only For Sleep And Sex

If you have trouble sleeping, get up and do some light chores around the house or another activity until you feel tired. Do dishes or declutter a closet or drawer. You should only use your bedroom for sleep and sex. If you work, read, watch TV, or use the computer while in bed, you may be too stimulated to fall asleep. Keep the TV and computer out of the bedroom. You want your body and mind to associate the bedroom with sleep and relaxation. Another good tip is to keep the room cool to improve sleep quality.

When To Call The Doctor

An occasional night of poor sleep isnt uncommon for most of us. But if a lack of sleep is interfering with your ability to function during the day, its time to seek help, Dr. Wytrzes says.

The most common complaint I hear from insomniacs is Im tired, but not sleepy, and thats very different from people who have primary sleep disorders like sleep apnea, Dr. Wytrzes says. Its not just a nighttime problem. Its a 24/7 problem. Insomniacs are often no more able to sleep during the day than at night. As a result of sleep deprivation, life begins to fall apart.

The first step in getting help is meeting with your doctor to discuss the potential causes of your insomnia. Are you nervous about a project at work? Do you scroll through your social media accounts on your cell phone before bed? Your doctor will work with you to determine the source of your sleep problem and help you develop a treatment plan. Using a sleep log to record your sleeping habits and patterns can help. Also try following this checklist for a better nights sleep.

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Habits That Cause Insomnia And Disrupt Sleep

While treating underlying physical and mental issues is a good first step, it may not be enough to cure your insomnia. You also need to look at your daily habits. Some of the things youre doing to cope with insomnia may actually be making the problem worse.

For example, maybe youre using sleeping pills or alcohol to fall asleep, which disrupts sleep even more over the long-term. Or maybe you drink excessive amounts of coffee during the day, making it harder to fall asleep later. Other daytime habits that can negatively impact your ability to sleep at night include having an irregular sleep schedule, napping, eating sugary foods or heavy meals too close to bedtime, and not getting enough exercise or exercising too late in the day.

Not only can poor daytime habits contribute to insomnia, but a poor nights sleep can make these habits harder to correct, creating a vicious cycle of unrefreshing sleep:

Oftentimes, changing the habits that are reinforcing sleeplessness is enough to overcome the insomnia altogether. It may take a few days for your body to get used to the change, but once you do, youll sleep better.

If youre having trouble identifying insomnia-causing habits

Some habits are so ingrained that you may overlook them as a possible contributor to your insomnia. Maybe your Starbucks habit affects your sleep more than you realize. Or maybe youve never made the connection between that late-night glass of wine and your sleep difficulties.

Watch Out For Hidden Caffeine

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Many people rely on morning coffee to stay awake, but caffeine consumption after noon may contribute to sleep problems. To maintain good sleep habits, avoid caffeine in the afternoon and evening. Caffeine is found in many foods, beverages, and even certain medications. Some hidden sources of caffeine include chocolate, tea, some pain relievers, weight loss pills, soda, and energy drinks. You may need to experiment a bit. People have different abilities to metabolize caffeine. If you are very sensitive, you may even have to avoid decaf coffee which contains a small amount of the stimulant.

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How To Deal With Prednisone

Prednisone is a corticosteroid available under many different brand names all over the world. The applications of Prednisone are numerous. Its uses cover an impressive range of conditions and ailments, from asthma to cancer, lupus, arthritis, eye problems, skin conditions, multiple sclerosis, and others.

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The pharmacology of this medicine explains why it is useful for the treatment of such a wide range of conditions. It addresses inflammation, reducing it in a two-pronged manner. On the one hand, it attacks inflammation directly. On the other, it suppresses the immune system. Inflammation within the body results from the action of the immune system over a real or perceived infection. As such, it is unsurprising that Prednisone is highly effective against autoimmune conditions.

In this overview, we take a close look at what Prednisone is, how it works and what side effects it produces.

  • The pharmacology of Prednisone explains its effects and side-effects.
  • What are Prednisones most significant side-effects?
  • Does Prednisone in particular and corticosteroids in general cause insomnia?
  • What can you do against Prednisone-triggered insomnia.
  • How do users rate the efficacy of this drug for various conditions?

Sleep Hygiene: Dos & Donts

The Dos:

The Donts:

  • Dont ingest caffeine after noon. This includes coffee, tea, iced tea, energy drinks and soda.
  • Dont have that second glass of wine with dinner. While alcohol is known to speed the onset of sleep, it also disrupts sleepespecially causing arousal during the second half of the night, when the body should be entering deep sleep.
  • Dont take other stimulants close to bedtime, including chocolate, nicotine and certain medications.
  • Dont eat a large, heavy meal close to bedtime.
  • Dont watch TV, use the computer or spend long periods on a mobile device before bed. These activities stimulate the brain and make it harder to fall alseep.
  • Dont use your phone, laptop, or other mobile device in bed.
  • Dont give in to the urge to nap during the day it can disturb the normal sleep/wakefulness pattern.

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What Are The Side Effects Of Sleeping Pills

Taking sleeping pills for a prolonged period of time produces adverse side effects. It causes changes in your appetite and bowel movement. It can also cause motor problems such as incoordination and uncontrollable shaking and trembling of one part of your body. Prolonged use also produces tingling and/or burning sensation in the extremities.

More worrisome complex effects include increased sleep problems such as parasomnias, allergic reaction to the drug, dependence, and kidney as well as liver problems.

The Types Of Insomnia

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Insomnia is a sleep disorder that affects your quality of life. For some, insomnia makes it hard to fall asleep. Others go to sleep quickly but cant stay that way. And some fall asleep, but not deep enough for good quality rest.

The type of insomnia you have is based on how long youre affected by it:

  • Acute insomnia typically doesnt last long and often comes with big life changes.
  • Chronic insomnia generally lasts longer than three months and may need treatment.

One in four Americans experiences acute insomnia each year. Its more common in women than men and more common in people over age 65. But many dont know they have it, which is why it often goes undiagnosed and untreated.

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Can Insomnia Be Stopped Or Reversed With Treatments

Now that you have a better understanding of the underlying causes of insomnia, it is possible to consider whether insomnia goes away. The underlying threshold that you have to develop insomnia does not change. Therefore, given the right scenario, insomnia may persist or recur. Imagine it as a large rock that is present just under the surface of a lake: when the water level drops enough, the rock shows itself again. In the same way, insomnia may come back to the surface. The factors that create this predisposition cannot be changed and are likely genetically determined and relate to neurotransmitters within the brain.

The good news is that the precipitating factors or triggers may be a place to intervene. Many of these triggers will resolve on their own. For example, a bad night of sleep before a test will go away as soon as the test passes. Many others can be alleviated once they are properly identified. In fact, cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia is a highly effective treatment for insomnia that manages to do just that.

It can also be very important to address any chronic issues that might be contributing to insomnia. Insomnia frequently coexists with anxiety or depression, and these conditions will often continue if the other is left untreated. If the insomnia is related to problems in the sleep environment, these likewise should be addressed to provide relief.

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Best Natural Over The Counter Sleep Aids 2020

Before we dive into our list of herbal and natural OTC sleep aids in 2020, understand that making positive lifestyle changes to support healthy sleep cycles is the best cure for insomnia. These adjustments include a regular exercise regime, healthier eating habits, outdoor activities designed to reduce stress and improve your mood, limiting technology usage, and even practicing meditation and relaxation techniques. Getting a handle on things that can disrupt our circadian rhythm is often the best remedy for chronic sleep disorders.

With that said, there are times when external factors can upset your sleeping patterns, and a natural sleep supplement can work wonders. Stressors such as jet lag, final exam week, or preparing for an important business meeting, to name a few. These situations may leave you in search of a safe herbal sleep aid to help you get the restorative sleep you need.

Its always best to avoid prescription sleeping pills like Ambien, Lunesta, Restoril, Sonata, and Halcion if you have not been prescribed these medications by your healthcare professional. These drugs can cause tolerance development, dependency issues, and a variety of other adverse side effects. For safety reasons, we recommend the homeopathic treatment of insomnia instead of prescription sleep medicine in most scenarios.

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How To Preventfuture Problems

Okay, so maybe youve overdone it this time, but that doesnt mean you that cant be more aware and prepared in the future so that you dont find yourself in this situation again . The obvious answer to prevention is not to consume caffeine at all. But we wouldnt ask you to do that!

One alternative to coffee that may help you achieve the desired alertness without the jitters and sleeplessness is yerba mate tea. While yerba mate has roughly the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee, it also has soothing and relaxing properties. Meaning you can have that cup in the afternoon, and not have to worry about the lasting effects late into the night. I personally love yerba mate and have recommended it to all my friends. I always tell them to try the variety pack first so they can get a feel for exactly the flavor they like the most. Here is the Yerba Mate Tea Variety Pack that I order off Amazon.

Other methods of prevention can include:

For the women who are on birth control pills or who are between ovulation and beginning of their menstruation, caffeine takes twice as long to process. Keep this in mind when consuming caffeine throughout the day if you hope to get some rest at night.

Is There A Safe Over The Counter Sleep Aid

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Aside from a slight hangover effect, and a few other side effects, using an over the counter sleep aid temporarily isnt particularly dangerous.

Before you take any medication, including something natural like a valerian supplement, its important to speak to your doctor.

Any medication, including supplements could interfere with your other drugs and also cause damage to breast-feeding parents, and mothers to be. You should also keep the following rules in mind when choosing the best sleep aids:

  • Always consider natural options before turning to medications for sleep.
  • Do not give children sleep aids unless their doctor agrees to it.
  • Do not mix over the counter sleep aids with alcohol.
  • Start at a low dose to avoid excessive side effects, particularly in older adults.

If youre experiencing disorders like chronic insomnia, or long-term sleep deprivation, then its best not to rely on over the counter sleep aids at all.

These medications are intended for short-term treatment, and your long-term problem could be a sign of something more serious. Speak to your doctor about tests for things like thyroid problems, mood disorders, and even sleep apnea.

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Exercise Can Be Helpful But Its Important To Know That If You Arent Eating Right Your Sleep Can Suffer

Weâve all been told fruits and veggies are our friends. But eating right isnât just about watching our figure. What we consume during the day or close to bedtime can have a serious impact on how we sleep and for how long. For example, a diet low in fiber and high in saturated fats can decrease the amount of deep, uninterrupted shut eye you get– eating sugar has the same effect, and can even keep you up altogether. Choosing when to eat also has an effect on your sleep, since eating food close to your bedtime can start the digestive process and keep you up well into the night.

Most nutritionists and sleep specialists also advise insomnia sufferers to eliminate alcohol and stimulants like caffeine. âAlcohol may have a sedative effect for the first few hours following consumption, but it can then lead to frequent arousals and a non-restful night’s sleep,â says WebMD.

When it comes to having a healthy diet best suited for quality sleep, vitamin B is going to be your best friend. Low fat proteins like fish, poultry, meat, eggs, and dairy are all incredibly good for you and are high in Vitamin B, which has been shown to help control melatonin, the hormone that regulates our sleep cycles.

Eating well also has an added benefit of potentially causing you to lose weight, which is just another tip to sleeping better, since a reduction in body fat can help you struggle less with problems like sleep apnea and insomnia.

Dietary Supplements For Insomnia

There are many dietary and herbal supplements marketed for their sleep-promoting effects. Although they may be described as natural, be aware that sleep remedies can still have side effects and interfere with other medications or vitamins youre taking. For more information, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

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Use Sleeping Pills With Caution

Several prescription medications are available to help with sleep. Many of these drugs can be addictive and their use may be associated with side effects . Ideally, sleeping pills should be used on a short-term basis as directed by your doctor. Optimize your sleep schedule by practicing good sleep hygiene. Make appropriate diet, exercise, and lifestyle and behavioral changes to get better sleep. If you are experiencing sleep problems, your doctor may recommend you undergo a sleep study. Ask your doctor for sleep tips if you need help.

See Your Doctor For Chronic Sleep Problems

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Everyone suffers from occasional sleeplessness from time to time, but chronic sleep problems may be a sign of a more serious underlying problem. Certain medical conditions or medications may interfere with sleep. Lack of sleep can contribute to difficulty concentrating, memory problems, and an increased risk of accidents. See your doctor about your sleep problem. Be honest about any trouble you’re having falling asleep or staying asleep. Let your doctor know if you wake up feeling unrefreshed or if you feel sleepy or even fall asleep during the day. Keep a diary of your symptoms so you and your doctor can notice any patterns that may be contributing to your condition.

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    Does Prednisone Cause Insomnia

    Theoretically, using a corticosteroid like Prednisone for less than two weeks should reduce the frequency of its side-effects.

    According to a 1984 study by Lozada F, Silverman S Jr, and Migliorati C, fluid retention and insomnia are the most frequent side-effects among those using Prednisone short-term.

    Why does this happen?

    As mentioned, Prednisone fights inflammation by acting upon the adrenal function. When a person is subjected to stress, his/her adrenal system is slowly exhausted. This system regulates the bodys fight-or-flight response. With exhaustion, the adrenal system stimulates the body, keeping the person awake.

    The same thing happens under the effect of Prednisone. The result is not just missed sleep, but sleep of poor quality interspersed with bad dreams.

    According to a 2016 study on Prednisone and sleep, by Lauren C Daniel, Yimei Li, et al, Prednisones impact on sleep in children is less significant than that of other corticosteroids like dexamethasone.

    A 1993 study by R Turner and E Elson, flatly states that Steroids cause sleep disturbance. This study concludes that the effect of steroids on sleep is dose-dependent. Sleep disturbances can be alleviated by reducing the dosage.

    In some cases, doctors cannot modify dosage. They can, however, have the patient take the full daily dose of Prednisone in the morning. Thus, the effects of the drug are less present by bedtime.

    This is a Dream…

    How Can You Handle Prednisone-induced Insomnia?

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