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How To Help Someone With Insomnia

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What Do You Think Is Really Causing Your Insomnia

How does insomnia affect a person’s health?

Why You Shouldn’t Say This: Many insomniacs suffer from a problem called sleep anxiety â a general anxiousness about the subject of sleep, from fear of not getting enough, to obsessive worry about the causes of your insomnia. Because of this, you’re not illuminating someone’s problems if you ask them why they can’t sleep â more likely, you’re adding to their pile of nighttime worry. This is particularly not something to ask an insomniac while they’re smack in the middle of an insomnia episode; when an insomniac is anxious and running on almost no sleep, any question can add fuel to the fire.

What To Say Instead: “Let me try to help you calm down…”

The best thing you can do for a partner who can’t get to sleep is to provide some comfort. Remind them of any techniques that have helped them fall back asleep before. If you can, try to draw their attention away from any heavy thoughts that might be plaguing their brains.

Acclaimed comedian and noted insomniac Amy Poehler revealed in her book Yes, Please that her partner tells her soothing stories when she can’t sleep; my saint of a boyfriend will sometimes tell me long, silly stories to occupy my brain when I’m up at night with sleep anxiety, too. So try to offer some gentle, non-invasive help. Even if it doesn’t work, your friend will appreciate it.

The Symptoms Of Insomnia

While acute insomnia often resolves on its own, chronic insomnia usually needs treatment. How do you know if its chronic? Its the rule of threes: If your sleep problems happen more than three times a week and last more than three months, you may have chronic insomnia.

People with chronic insomnia also experience daytime symptoms, including:

  • Feeling tired or fatigued. ;
  • Irritability or a depressed mood. ;
  • Problems with concentration or memory.

Losing your sleep battle can affect every part of your life. It can spill into your day as you struggle with fatigue and decreased attention. Its also associated with conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder and substance use disorder. Eventually, it can lead to heart disease, depression and injury from falls or other accidents.

Natural Sleep Aids: Home Remedies To Help You Sleep

Are you having trouble drifting into a peaceful, nourishing slumber? Yourenot sitting up at night alone:More than 60 million Americanssuffer from poor sleep quality.;

Disturbed sleep is more than an inconvenience that leaves you dragging the next day: it can affect your emotional and physical health. It negatively affects your memory, concentration and mood, and it boosts your risk for depression, obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.

Happily, there are easy, natural fixes that can improve your sleep, says;Charlene Gamaldo, M.D.;, medical director of;Johns Hopkins Center for Sleep;at Howard County General Hospital.

Its not always necessary to get a prescription for a sleep aid, she says. There are natural ways to make adjustments to your sleeping habits.

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Keep A Cool Head In Arguments

Insomnia makes you act like a jerk. There, I said it. Of course, not all insomniacs become total d-bags; but when you’re underslept, it’s easy to think everyone in the world is sleeping eight hours a night, on a bed made of money, in a nightgown made of even more money, BECAUSE LIFE IS NOT FAIR, and then take it out on everyone who crosses your path âincluding you, the supportive partner.

I don’t think you should take anyone’s crap, sleep-deprived or otherwise. But instead of getting sucked into name-calling or other fight behaviors that quickly escalate, try saying something like, “I know you are very tired, but please do not talk to me that way. That was not very respectful.” In my experience, this can pull you from the frustration-daze that many insomniacs exist inside â and remind you that your partner is on your side.

What Are The Symptoms Of Insomnia

Get rid of sleep anxiety and insomnia: Your guide to a ...

There are different;types of insomnia;that you could be dealing with. Acute insomnia is when you experience difficulty sleeping because of a life experience or situation that is happening. This could be feeling anxious over an upcoming meeting, going through a difficult relationship, or losing a loved one. For the most part, when the situation is over, your sleep will return to normal.

Chronic insomnia is when you experience difficulty sleeping for at least three nights a week, and it lasts for several months. Many different things can lead to chronic insomnia, and it can have a long-term negative impact on your sleep and health.

If you have insomnia, you may find yourself lying awake without being able to fall asleep. And you may struggle with tossing and turning throughout the night.

You may notice that the lack of sleep you are experiencing starts to take a toll on you in other areas of your life. You may lack the energy that you need to do the tasks that youre trying to accomplish. Or, you may find that your quality of work decreases because you struggle with concentration since youre so tired.

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Help Them Stay Hopeful

When you’re really being wrecked by insomnia, it’s easy to believe that things will never end. You feel so out of control and so helpless, it is very easy to become convinced that lying awake all night, fruitlessly trying to remember the lyrics to 98 Degrees’ “Give Me Just One Night ,” is going to be your lot in life forever. An easy, simple, and immensely helpful thing you can do for your partner is to gently remind them that it isn’t.

Ten to 15 percent of all adults struggle with chronic insomnia â remind your partner of this when they feel like the only person on earth who can’t sleep. Remind them that there are always new methods, medications, and techniques to try. Remind them that plenty of people suffer from insomnia and then come out the other side. And then…

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.

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Stress Anxiety Or Depression

You may find it difficult to switch off your anxieties about work, home or personal problems. Also, poor sleep is sometimes due to depression. Other symptoms of depression include a low mood, lethargy, poor concentration, tearfulness and persistent negative thoughts. Depression is common. Treatment of depression or anxiety often cures the poor sleep too.

Count Sheep Backward And Youll Fall Asleep

How To Overcome Insomnia

If your mind tends to race as soon as your head hits the pillow, put the brakes on this sleep-stealing;habit;by distracting yourself from rehashing the days events. One tip;Breus;offers his patients: Count down from 300 in multiples of three. Because this task is mathematically complicated to do in your head, he explains, it forces your brain to focus on something else besides your worries.

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Behavioural And Cognitive Therapies

If you have severe persistent poor sleep, your doctor may refer you to a psychologist or other health professional for psychological treatments. These are various therapies which help re-train your brain and the way you feel, think or behave. Research studies have found that there is a good chance that behavioural and cognitive therapies will improve sleep in adults with insomnia. Increasingly, research has also shown that some of these therapies can be delivered digitally .

There are various types of therapy and they include the following:

Stimulus-control therapy. This helps you to re-associate the bed and bedroom with sleep and to re-establish a consistent sleep/wake pattern.

Sleep restriction therapy. Very briefly, the principle of this treatment is that you limit the time that you spend in bed at night. As things improve, the time in bed is then lengthened. An example of the way that this may be done in practice is as follows:

Relaxation training. This teaches you ways of reducing tension. For example, this may include the progressive muscle relaxation technique as described earlier, plus various other techniques described earlier.

Paradoxical intention. This involves staying passively awake, avoiding any intention to fall asleep. It is used for people who have trouble getting to sleep .

Cognitive therapy. Cognitive therapy is often used in combination with a behavioural intervention ; this is then called cognitive behavioural therapy .

How Is Insomnia Diagnosed

There is no specific test to diagnose insomnia. Your healthcare provider will perform a physical exam and ask questions to learn more about your sleep problems and symptoms. The key information for the diagnosis of insomnia is reviewing your sleep history with your doctor. Your provider will also review your medical history and medications you are taking to see if they may be affecting your ability to sleep. You may also:

  • Get a blood test: Your doctor may want you do a blood test to rule out certain medical conditions such as thyroid problems or low iron levels that can negatively impact sleep.
  • Keep a sleep diary: You may be asked to write down your sleep patterns for one to two weeks This information can help your provider identify patterns or behaviors that interfere with rest.
  • Complete a sleep study:Sleep studies are not necessary for diagnosing insomnia. If your doctor has concerns that your insomnia may be caused by sleep apnea or another sleep disorder, you may be referred. You may go to a sleep disorders center or do the study at home.

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Do Natural Sleep Aids Have Side Effects

Some natural sleep aids can have side effects. For example, certain herbs or dietary supplements may cause allergic reactions in some people. Melatonin may cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, and excessive sleepiness . Drug interactions can also occur, which is why it’s important to check with your doctor before taking any new supplements.

Tactics To Cope With Anxiety Insomnia Or Depression:

Insomnia

Cranial sacral therapyCranial sacral therapy is a form of bodywork therapy that focuses on bones in the head, spine and sacrum. It works to release compression in those areas to help decrease stress and pain. This is said to help with mental disorders because it works to alleviate the tension that is stored up in a persons body when they are traumatized, injured or anxious. Chakra therapyThis form of therapy is a mode of energy therapy and healing. People believe that at the core of a persons body are seven wheel-like energy centers that spin, called Chakras. These seven centers can receive, assimilate and transmit energy. Chakras have the ability to receive, assimilate and transmit energy. When one chakra is out of balance, it can affect a persons emotional, mental and physical health. Chakra therapy works to keep them spinning correctly.

The chakras spin in a clockwise direction and are shaped like a spinning fan. Every chakra spins at its own frequency, ensuring that the life force is being drawn into the body to keep it balanced. from Getting Past Anxiety, by Melissa A. Woods

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Get The Best Bed You Can Afford

Sometimes, insomnia can come down to something as simple as a crappy bed that shakes like jelly every time that you fart, or a mattress that’s so old it sags, and keeps your partner up all night with aching joints. So agree to get the biggest, most stable bed that you can purchase. Stay within your budget, but prioritize getting the best bed that you can â sometimes a new mattress really can make the difference between a good night’s rest and wishing that you had never been born.

Magnitude Of The Problem

Insomnia is widely prevalent and is reported to occur in up to one-third of the adult population. Persistent sleep problems have been reported by 10-15% of adults. The prevalence of sleep problems among women and older adults is even higher. Although more than half of primary care patients may experience insomnia, only about one-third report this problem to their physicians and only 5% seek treatment. Despite the very high economic cost of insomnia in terms of lost productivity and accidents, the vast majority of persons with insomnia remain untreated. Two-thirds of patients with insomnia report a poor understanding of treatment options, and many turn to alcohol or untested over-the-counter remedies .

Various psychological, behavioral, and biological factors have been implicated in the development and maintenance of insomnia as a disorder. However, the etiology of insomnia remains under investigation and is still not fully understood. Two types of treatment for insomnia have received adequate empirical support: hypnotic medications and cognitive behavioral interventions.

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The Benefits Might Be Smaller And The Risks Greater Than You Expect

Sleeplessness is complicatedbut that hasnt stopped millions of Americans from craving a simple chemical solution.

In a July 2018 Consumer Reports survey of 1,767 U.S. adults, nearly one-third of people who complained of sleep problems at least once per week said they had used an over-the-counter or prescription sleep drug in the previous year.

But many of those people dont get the restful nights sleep they seek. Only about a third of people who took sleep medicationseither OTC or prescriptionreported very good or excellent sleep on those nights.;

And they often dont wake refreshed: Nearly 6 out of 10 people taking sleep medications reported side effects such as feeling drowsy, confused, or forgetful the next day. Three percent admitted to dozing off while driving.

Among the most common reasons Americans gave for taking a sleep drug is that they thought it would work better than other approaches.

But drugs arent the cure-all many people expect.

In terms of improvement of total sleep time, the benefits of sleep medications are pretty modest, says Michael Sateia, M.D., emeritus professor of psychiatry at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. Plus, some of the most commonly used drugs, notably OTC sleeping pills, should never be used long-term, and have little published research backing up even their short-term use, Sateia says.

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Watch Out For Hidden Caffeine

Getting Help With Insomnia

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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If Sleep Hygiene Isnt Enough

Sleep hygiene alone is often enough to get you sleeping better. The tricky part is maintaining your good sleep habitsit can be hard to have the self-discipline to stick with good sleep hygiene.

If youve diligently applied good sleep habits and still find youre not sleeping well on a regular basis, it might be time to think about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia, or CBT-I. Find part 2 of our insomnia installment here.

How Much Exercise You Need For Better Sleep

Patients often ask Gamaldo how much exercise they need for better sleep, and how many weeks, months or years it will take to experience this benefit.;The good news: People who engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise may see a difference in sleep quality that same night. Its generally not going to take months or years to see a benefit, says Gamaldo. And patients dont need to feel like they have to train for the Boston Marathon to become a better sleeper.;Moreover, while many studies focus on aerobic activity and sleep, Gamaldo says picking an exercise you like will help you stick with it. For example, power lifting or an active yoga class can elevate your heart rate, helping to create the biological processes in the brain and body that contribute to better quality sleep, she says.;We really want to encourage people to exercise, just be mindful of timing and whether it seems to affect your ability to get optimal sleep quality, she says.

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How Psychologists Help With Insomnia

Categories

How many times did you hit the snooze button this morning? We all crave sleep, but too many nights we fall short of the seven or eight hours we need to thrive. An estimated 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from a chronic sleep disorder, according to the Institute of Medicine.

In todays overscheduled society, sleep may feel like a luxury when, in fact its a necessity. Sleep is vital to our health, safety and overall well-being. Sleep recharges the brain, allowing it to learn and make memories. Insufficient sleep has been linked to car crashes, poor work performance and problems with mood and relationships. Sleep deprivation also raises the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, depression and stroke.

My Dad Has Dementia And Is Moving Into Residential Care Are There Any Care Homes With Dementia Units

Insomnia

Yes, there are. These residential units will allow your dad to live in a home environment with the benefit of trained staff on hand to help care for him. It may also be worth considering;finding a care home;in the right location to enable friends and family to visit regularly.;This may be more fitting for your dad and ease the transition.

If your parent/partner suffers from restless leg syndrome they move or twitch their legs uncontrollably, especially during the evenings and night-time. They may also experience tingling, burning and fizzing sensations in their legs too.;Symptoms can be relieved by rubbing and stretching legs – but it can be so bad that it wakes the person up. If you discover that your parent/partner has either of these medical conditions, its wise to see a GP and ask for help.

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