Whats Causing Your Insomnia
- Are you under a lot of stress?
- Are you depressed? Do you feel emotionally flat or hopeless?
- Do you struggle with chronic feelings of anxiety or worry?
- Have you recently gone through a traumatic experience?
- Are you taking any medications that might be affecting your sleep?
- Do you have any health problems that may be interfering with sleep?
- Is your bedroom quiet and comfortable?
- Do you try to go to bed and get up around the same time every day?
Turn Your Bedroom Into A Sleep
A quiet, dark, and cool environment can help promote sound slumber. Why do you think bats congregate in caves for their daytime sleep? To achieve such an environment, lower the volume of outside noise with earplugs or a “white noise” appliance. Use heavy curtains, blackout shades, or an eye mask to block light, a powerful cue that tells the brain that it’s time to wake up. Keep the temperature comfortably coolbetween 60 and 75°Fand the room well ventilated. And make sure your bedroom is equipped with a comfortable mattress and pillows. Also, if a pet regularly wakes you during the night, you may want to consider keeping it out of your bedroom. It may help to limit your bedroom activities to sleep and sex only. Keeping computers, TVs, and work materials out of the room will strengthen the mental association between your bedroom and sleep.
Keep Your Internal Clock Set With A Consistent Sleep Schedule
Having a regular sleep schedule helps to ensure better quality and consistent sleep.
Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day sets the bodys “internal clock” to expect sleep at a certain time night after night. Try to stick as closely as possible to your routine on weekends to avoid a Monday morning sleep hangover. Waking up at the same time each day is the very best way to set your clock, and even if you did not sleep well the night before, the extra sleep drive will help you consolidate sleep the following night. Learn more about the importance of synchronizing the clock in The Drive to Sleep and Our Internal Clock.
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Treating Insomnia With A Better Sleep Environment And Routine
Two powerful weapons in the fight against insomnia are a quiet, comfortable bedroom and a relaxing bedtime routine. Both can make a big difference in improving the quality of your sleep.
Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, and cool. Noise, light, a bedroom thats too hot or cold, or an uncomfortable mattress or pillow can all interfere with sleep. Try using a sound machine or earplugs to mask outside noise, an open window or fan to keep the room cool, and blackout curtains or an eye mask to block out light. Experiment with different levels of mattress firmness, foam toppers, and pillows that provide the support you need to sleep comfortably.
Stick to a regular sleep schedule. Support your biological clock by going to bed and getting up at the same time every day, including weekends. Get up at your usual time in the morning even if youre tired. This will help you get back in a regular sleep rhythm.
Turn off all screens at least an hour before bed. Electronic screens emit a blue light that disrupts your bodys production of melatonin and combats sleepiness. So instead of watching TV or spending time on your phone, tablet, or computer, choose another relaxing activity, such as reading a book or listening to soft music.
Avoid stimulating activity and stressful situations before bedtime. This includes checking messages on social media, big discussions or arguments with your spouse or family, or catching up on work. Postpone these things until the morning.
Nonpharmacologic Management Of Chronic Insomnia
DAVID L. MANESS, DO, MSS, and MUNEEZA KHAN, MD, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, Tennessee
Am Fam Physician. 2015 Dec 15 92:1058-1064.
Patient information: See related handout on chronic insomnia, written by the authors of this article.
The International Classification of Sleep Disorders, 3rd ed., defines insomnia as difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, or early awakening despite the opportunity for sleep that is associated with impaired daytime functioning and occurs at least three times per week for at least one month.1 The full ICSD-3 criteria are included in Table 1.1,2 Short-term, chronic, and other types of insomnia are the three major categories according to the ICSD-3. Insomnia can be acute or chronic . Based on the severity of the disorder, all the criteria do not have to be met to begin therapy.1
WHAT IS NEW ON THIS TOPIC: INSOMNIA TREATMENT
Although the combination of stimulus control and sleep restriction therapy leads to a similar treatment response compared with either therapy alone, multicomponent therapy is associated with higher remission rates .
SORT: KEY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PRACTICE
Sleep hygiene is recommended as an initial intervention for all adults with insomnia.
SORT: KEY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PRACTICE
Sleep hygiene is recommended as an initial intervention for all adults with insomnia.
BEST PRACTICES IN SLEEP MEDICINE: RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE CHOOSING WISELY CAMPAIGN
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The Importance Of Environment Exercise And Diet
Have you ever heard the term âsleep hygieneâ? It refers to efforts to create the ideal conditions for a good nightâs sleep and itâs often the first step for people suffering insomnia. Indeed, self-care is an important first step to promote good sleep routines. Self-care simply refers to any activity you do which takes care of your health. This could be physical, mental, emotional or spiritual health, and includes steps you may take to improve your sleep.
Everyoneâs ideal conditions for sleeping will vary, but there are some common themes. Poor sleep is often caused by bad sleeping habits, so if you can tackle these, you may start to see marked improvements in your sleep.
What Are The Risk Factors For Insomnia
Insomnia occurs more often in women than in men. Pregnancy and hormonal shifts can disturb sleep. Other hormonal changes, such as premenstrual syndrome or menopause, can also can affect sleep. Insomnia becomes more common over the age of 60. Older people may be less likely to sleep soundly because of bodily changes related to aging and because they may have medical conditions or take medications that disturb sleep.
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Tips To Beat Insomnia
What Are The Different Types Of Insomnia
If you want to know what causes insomnia it can be helpful to establish what type you have.
- Short term or acute insomnia occurs commonly. It is usually caused by lifestyle factors and stresses, and may last for days or weeks. Most people recover from acute insomnia on their own.
- Chronic insomnia is diagnosed when you have three nights of bad sleep in a month, for three or more months. It is usually caused by other issues such as anxiety or other sleep problems.
- Primary insomnia is diagnosed when no other cause can be identified.
- Secondary insomnia is diagnosed when your sleeplessness is caused by an underlying health condition .
- Delayed sleep phase syndrome occurs when you cannot sleep until very late at night or the early hours of the morning.
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Considering Lifestyle Changes And Routines
Get Up At The Same Time Daily
Creating a routine can be an effective way to combat sleep anxiety and insomnia. By getting up at the same time every day, your body will naturally start to adjust your internal clock or circadian rhythm.
One sleep study, highlighted in the Guardian as A Cure for Insomnia, found that getting up at the same time every day helped the participants body feel sleepy around the same time every night. Over time, this helped the participants bedtimes become consistent.
However, creating a nighttime routine can also have similar effects. Winnie Yu for WebMD suggests creating a nightly routine can help relax your body as it starts to anticipate and expect sleep as you follow through each step. It can also help relieve anxiety, as you know what to expect each night and each morning.
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How To Manage Your Insomnia While Youre A Caregiver
Insomnia not only affects your mood but it can also affect your health and the care you provide to your loved one. This is why its important to take care of yourself. If you dont, you will soon feel like youre too stressed or tired to do anything. No matter how long youve had insomnia, there are treatments that can help. The first step is to tell your healthcare team. They can guide you to the right resources.
Here are a few tips that can help:
What Is The Source Of This Information
This information comes from a research report that was funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, a Federal Government agency.
To write the report, researchers looked at 181 scientific research articles reporting on studies to manage insomnia disorder. The studies were published through January 2015.
Health care professionals, researchers, experts, and the public gave feedback on the report before it was published.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Insomnia
People experience insomnia differently. Some of the symptoms of insomnia are:
- having difficulty falling asleep
- waking a lot during the night
- waking up too early and being unable to go back to sleep
- not feeling refreshed when you wake up
Insomnia can lead to the following symptoms during the day:
- tension headaches
- feeling sleepy when sitting quietly
What Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider About Insomnia
If you have insomnia, you may want to ask your healthcare provider:
- Am I taking any medications keeping me awake?
- What changes can I make to sleep better?
- How does cognitive behavioral therapy improve sleep?
- How do I find a therapist?
- Could I have other sleep disorders like sleep apnea?
If you’re suffering from insomnia, don’t hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider for help. They may offer tips for managing issues that interfere with your sleep. Many people with insomnia rest better after changing their diet, lifestyle and nighttime routines. Or they may also recommend medications or cognitive behavioral therapy.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/15/2020.
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Is Your Bedroom Set Up For Sleep
Whatever youâve done in the day to try and help you sleep can easily be undone by the wrong sleeping environment. If you suffer from sleeping problems, you need to give yourself the best chance of rest. Environments that are too hot, cold, noisy or bright often contribute to problems falling or staying asleep.
Start by setting fixed times for going to bed and waking up â and stick to them. It doesnât matter what time you choose to wake up every morning itâs the consistency that helps with a full nightâs rest.
Then turn to your bedroom. Thereâs a pretty strong association in our minds between sleep and bedrooms. But this can be affected when we use our bedrooms for other things. If you work from home, for example, you might be tempted to work from bed. Ideally you shouldnât be sitting or lying on your bed until you actually need to sleep, so working from bed is a bad idea.
Similarly, when we spend a lot of time watching TV or browsing through our phones in bed, it weakens the link. The NHS advise that you keep your bedroom just for sleep and sex. Over thousands of years, weâve evolved so that sex makes us quite sleepy.
Other environmental factors to consider include:
For most people, itâs easier to sleep if itâs as dark as possible. You can use thick curtains or blackout blinds to block out the outside light. You might find an eye mask useful.
How To Manage Sleep Disorders
Having a good bedtime routine can improve your insomnia symptoms. While working with a psychologist can help to address underlying or unresolved issues, you can make changes on your own to improve your ability to sleep. These include:
If youre still not sure what causes insomnia you probably need professional help. Please contact us for an appointment with our psychologist: .
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Twelve Simple Tips To Improve Your Sleep
Falling asleep may seem like an impossible dream when youre awake at 3 a.m., but good sleep is more under your control than you might think. Following healthy sleep habits can make the difference between restlessness and restful slumber. Researchers have identified a variety of practices and habitsknown as sleep hygiene”that can help anyone maximize the hours they spend sleeping, even those whose sleep is affected by insomnia, jet lag, or shift work.Sleep hygiene may sound unimaginative, but it just may be the best way to get the sleep you need in this 24/7 age. Here are some simple tips for making the sleep of your dreams a nightly reality:
Sleep And Insomnia: How To Effectively Manage Insomnia
Sleep is a core physiological function that impacts many other important areas of functioning, including our energy, mood, appetite, motivation, concentration, and efficiency. The average adult needs 6 to 9 hours of sleep. Consistently getting less than 6 hours per night leads to a range of health consequences, and consistently getting more than 9 hours leads to excessive lethargy and fatigue. Unfortunately, one-third of people struggle with chronic sleep difficulties that affect their sleep, the most common sleep problem being insomnia. Here are some facts about sleep and insomnia to help you get started on your journey toward better sleep.
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What Have Researchers Found About Cbt
- Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia improves the time it takes to fall asleep, total sleep time, and how well you sleep in the short term and long term .
- CBT-I does not appear to have side effects.
Pharmacologic Treatment Of Insomnia
The pharmacologic treatment of insomnia has made great advances in the last 2 decades. In the early 19th century, alcohol and opioids were used as sleeping medications. In the late 19th century, chloral hydrate was used . Barbiturates were used from the early 20th century until the early 1960s, when benzodiazepines were first approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of insomnia.
In 2017, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine released an updated guideline for the pharmacologic treatment of chronic insomnia in adults.
Benzodiazepines include long-acting forms , intermediate-acting forms , and short-acting forms . The long-acting agents are rarely used today for insomnia because of daytime sedation, cognitive impairment, and increased risk of falls in elderly patients.
Benzodiazepines were commonly used until the 1980s, when tolerance, dependence, and daytime side effects were recognized as major limitations of these agents, particularly those with long elimination half-lives. Temazepam is still used for a short-term course , at a dose of 15-30 mg at bedtime.
In the 1990s, antidepressants were widely used for primary insomnia, and they continue to be widely used, despite the fact that few randomized, controlled trials have demonstrated their efficacy in treating primary insomnia. At present, sedative-hypnotics remain the most commonly prescribed sleep medications.