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How To Sleep When Having Insomnia

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Have A Hot Water Bath

Do You Have Insomnia? Tips To Fall Asleep Faster.

Having a hot water bath can certainly do a lot in allowing you to sleep better. Hot water is what we recommend you to have preferably after having dinner as you will be having a lot of free time now.

Having a hot water bath can help relax the muscles and tissues and also reduce anxiety and depression. We recommend you it as a remedy for having to fall asleep. A hot water bath is one remedy that will also help ease tensions and professional stress from your mind. It helps you to feel relaxed and comfortable inducing sleepiness.

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.


Insomnia: Restoring Restful Sleep

Nearly everyone has spent at least one night lying in bed wishing for sleep. But for many men, it’s a nightly struggle. A lucky few get relief from counting sheep, watching late-night movies, or sipping warm milk but most people with insomnia need more assistance. Fortunately, lifestyle changes and behavioral treatment can help many sufferers, and medication is available for those who need it.

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The Body’s Internal Clock

The sleep-wake cycle is controlled by the body’s internal clock. Many other bodily functions also wax and wane cyclically in response to the 24-hour circadian rhythm. For example, normal body temperature is lowest at about 5 a.m., when it averages 97° F, and highest at about 5 p.m., when it averages 99.4° F. Similarly, sodium excretion and urine output are normally higher during the day than at night. Hormone levels also fluctuate cortisol secretion is highest during the morning. Testosterone production peaks in the morning, growth hormone at night. Melatonin, the “dark hormone,” is produced by the brain’s pineal gland during the night.

The daily cycles of light and darkness help set the body’s internal clock. Disturbances in the normal coordination of light and darkness with wakefulness and sleep account for the temporary sleep disturbance of jet lag or the chronic disorders experienced by many shift workers. Travel is a common cause of disturbed sleep today, but similar disturbances originated long before the jet age Robert Burton got it right way back in 1628 when he said, “Our body is like a clock, if one wheel is amiss, all the rest are disordered… with such admirable art and harmony is a man composed.”

Turn Down The Lights To Get Better Sleep

Sleep and Insomnia Therapy Services

Bright indoor lights inhibit the production of melatonin, the hormone that helps you fall asleep. Put dimmer switches on indoor lights and lower the lighting level in your home for at least 2 to 3 hours before bedtime. If you like to read before bed, read by a light using a low wattage bulb to avoid being exposed to levels of light that will make it hard to fall asleep. Use heavy black out curtains on bedroom windows to keep light outside from sneaking in and wreaking havoc on your sleep schedule.

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Can I Take A Supplement Or Natural Product For Insomnia

Some dietary supplements also claim to help people sleep. Manufacturers may label dietary supplements like melatonin as “natural” products.

The Food and Drug Administration does not regulate dietary supplements in the same way it regulates medicines. The FDA does not test supplements for safety or effectiveness . The FDA can remove supplements from the market if they are found to be unsafe.

Learn more about complementary and alternative sleep aids.

How Long Does This Last

The average duration of perimenopause is four years, but this may vary from person to person and can be affected by other factors such as hysterectomy, tobacco use, and genetic factors. If this fact has thrown you into a panic, this period of your life doesnt need to be miserable, and thanks to some treatment options and medication, it shouldnt need to dominate your life.

When it comes to Menopause, it isnt so much a period of time as it is an event and a diagnosis. After a woman has gone twelve consecutive months without a period, menopause is diagnosed and symptoms of menopause like hot flashes, mood swings, and mental fog may continue for the first four to five years. Over time the symptoms should become less frequent and severe though they may carry into post-menopause according to a study at the University of Pennsylvania.

There are different symptoms and changes a woman can expect throughout this process, and these will likely vary from person to person.

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What To Do When You Cant Sleep: 9 Tips

Prioritizing a good nights sleep isnt just important for your general health, it can also help with feelings of anxiety, as your body is less likely to feel overwhelmed or on edge when youve slept well.

However, falling asleep can be difficult, so its important to build a strategy for a better nights sleep. Below are some tips to try in order to improve your chances of falling asleep naturally.

How To Manage Insomnia

Sleep Tips for Insomnia (Insomnia Treatment Without Medication)

Some people have no problem falling asleep mid-sentence for others, they can read hundreds of sentences in bed and still not feel tired. Not being able to fall asleep is a condition called insomnia, a common sleep disorder that impacts between 10% and 30% of adults. Sunday Citizen compiled recommendations and best sleeping practices for those struggling with insomnia, citing a collection of medical and expert reports.

Insomnia makes it difficult to fall asleep or remain asleep, and without enough rest, its natural to be tired, cranky, and foggy for the rest of the day. Contrary to popular belief, this disorder is not determined by the number of hours of sleep or how much time it takes to fall asleep everyone is different in their sleep needs and the amount of time it takes to fall asleep.

Insomnia comes in a variety of forms, each with its own set of symptoms, sleep issues, and length of occurrence. Some of the most common causes of insomnia are stress, travel, lifestyle habits, and eating late. Temporary insomnia typically lasts less than a week. When its caused by stressful situations, it usually goes away after the event is resolved. Short-term insomnia lasts one to three weeks, but long-term or chronic insomnia lasts longer.

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Put Your Neck In ‘neutral’

Blame your pillow if you wake up tired with a stiff neck. It should be just the right size — not too fat and not too flat — to support the natural curve of your neck when you’re resting on your back. Do you sleep on your side? Line your nose up with the center of your body. Donât snooze on your stomach. It twists your neck.

Tip: Use good posture before bed, too. Don’t crane your neck to watch TV.

Get Rid Of Bright Lights Or Loud Sounds

If youre having trouble falling back asleep, look for any lights in your bedroom that may be disturbing you. LED lights from electronics and light coming through your window may it more difficult to fall back asleep.

If a disturbing sound is coming through your window from outside, try shutting your window to block it out. Using earplugs, turning on a fan, or listening to white noise can also help you drown out disturbing sounds.

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Meditate Or Try Breathing Exercises

Performing breathing exercises or meditating may help calm your mind and induce sleep. These techniques may also distract you from worrying about falling asleep.

One exercise you can use is called the 4-7-8 breathing technique. With this technique, you inhale through your nose for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, and exhale through your mouth.

Do Progressive Muscle Relaxation

How to deal with insomnia to get a good night

Similar to body scanning, progressive muscle relaxation involves focusing on different areas of your body to put yourself in a relaxed state. However, with progressive muscle relaxation, you tense different muscle groups a few times before allowing them to relax.

  • Raise your eyebrows to tighten your forehead muscles, then allow them to relax, focusing on the release of tension from the temples.
  • Squeeze your eyes shut, then allow them to relax, focusing on how your eyelids fall over your eyes.
  • Smile to feel tension in your cheeks and jaw, then allow them to relax, focusing on how each muscle interacts within your face.
  • Repeat this process through the rest of your body, moving through muscle groups in the shoulders, arms, abdomen, and legs, before finishing at your feet.
  • Lay in this relaxed position until you doze off to sleep.
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    Prednisone And Insomnia: Steroids Stop You Sleeping

    For most people, the answer to Does prednisone cause insomnia will be sometimes or usually. To understand why theres such a significant problem with steroids and sleep, youll need to know how steroid medications work.

    Corticosteroids like Prednisone and Dexamethasone are man-made substances which mimic the bodys natural fight-or-flight hormone, cortisol.

    Cortisol is also the substance associated with stress, focus, and concentration. When your body needs to be awake, your brain signals to stop the production of melatonin and begin the production of cortisol .

    Though Prednisone isnt a stimulant, its ability to replicate cortisol means you can feel more alert and jittery. This makes it much harder to get to sleep, or even relax at night.

    Mood issues are also common with Prednisone, and since issues like anxiety can make it harder to sleep, this makes the problem of insomnia even more likely.

    Diabetes & Menopause: Is There Added Sleep Danger

    For those with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you could be at extra risk for health issues and sleeping problems during and after menopause because of the way sex hormones affect blood sugar. According to the Mayo Clinic, progesterone and estrogen can affect the way your body responds to insulin, so your blood sugar could become unstable and unpredictable.

    In some cases, menopause can lead to weight gain, so you may require more insulin or oral diabetes medication to keep sugars controlled. This could mean more alarms to check your sugars in the night hours and more adjusting of your insulin to carb ratio to account for your bodys changes. While most people with diabetes are accustomed to daily adjustments in care, after menopause women are at an increased risk for heart disease and sleep problems, so uncontrolled sugar could become even more dangerous.

    If you are struggling to manage your disease, there is no shame in admitting you need some help. Even if youve successfully managed it yourself for years, recruiting a doctor to help you manage your case could be a good idea at least when you start to notice some changes taking place. It may also be a good time to set up check-up appointments with your endocrinologist to ensure everything is running smoothly.

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    Using Cognitive Behavior Therapy To Fight Insomnia

    Dr. Foldvary-Schaefer notes that cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia is probably the most effective treatment for chronic insomnia. CBT-i requires some effort, but its proven to help people return to more normal sleep patterns. And bonus: Behavioral treatments are more effective and longer-lasting than sleep aids.

    Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia is our treatment of choice, Dr. Foldvary-Schaefer says. About 70 to 80% of people have improvement without the use of medication so its effective.

    The goal of this ongoing therapy is to help you change your sleep-related thinking, habits, schedules and behaviors. For example, you may need to change your habit of using your bed for activities such as working on your laptop.

    CBT-i also includes regular follow-up visits with a behavioral sleep medicine specialist. This therapist may:

    • Have you keep a sleep diary
    • Examine your sleep/wake habits to pinpoint the actions that are preventing you from sleeping soundly
    • Educate you about sleep hygiene and relaxation techniques

    To find a sleep specialist, ask your doctor for a referral. But dont despair if there isnt one in your area. Other effective options are available, including Cleveland Clinics online Go! To Sleep program.

    Dr. Foldvary-Schaefer adds that one of the best things you can do to take back the night is stay consistent. We need to be more mindful of our sleep routines, she says. Your brain likes routine.

    Tips For Taking Sleep Aids

    CBT For Insomnia: How To Sleep Better and Cure Insomnia

    If you have a string of wakeful nights, you may want to talk to your doctor about trying an over-the-counter sleep aid. Sleep aids work by activating the sleep centers in the brain and turning off the wake centers, explains Dr. Foldvary-Schaefer. But you have to be careful. People start to think they must reach for something to get sleep at night. When that happens, medication can turn an acute case into a chronic one.

    She doesnt recommend options such as Benadryl® or alcohol. While they seem to help, they dont enhance the quality of your sleep. Even the short-term relief that comes with taking prescriptions like Ambien® may not outweigh the long-term risks of dependency.

    But be sure to talk to your doctor if your sleep aid doesnt work, does more harm than good or youre concerned about ongoing insomnia and other symptoms.

    To use sleep aids safely, Dr. Foldvary-Schaefer says to follow these tips.

    Allow enough time for a full nights sleep

    Most sleep aids recommend that you devote a full eight hours to sleep, so make sure you are sleeping enough, says Dr. Foldvary-Schaefer. You want sleep aids to help you fall asleep, but not leave you groggy the next day.

    Sleep aids are designed to help you fall asleep and stay asleep longer, but they shouldnt knock you out. If you have significant difficulty waking up in the morning, tell your doctor.

    Watch for side effects

    Only take pills for a short time

    Dont stop taking a sleep aid suddenly

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    Can Napping During The Day Help

    There are conflicting theories and research results about whether it is a good or bad idea to nap during the day. Some studies have looked at whether napping during the day can make up for not getting enough sleep at night, helping you to drive more safely, for example. Other researchers have studied whether napping helps you sleep better at night or perhaps even has the opposite effect, making you sleep worse at night instead. There are no clear results yet. As with many questions about sleep, you will probably have to try out a few things first to find out what works best for you.

    Use A Weighted Blanket

    Weighted blankets are heavy blankets used as a form of pressure therapy to create a calming effect and help stimulate the release of serotonin in your brain. The ideal weighted blanket is around 10% of your body weight, since the blanket applies enough pressure that youre calm and relaxed without feeling too restricted.

    Whether you use a weighted blanket during your pre-bedtime ritual or throughout the night, your body will surely thank you for it.

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    Will Sleeping Pills Help

    Sleeping pills can help some people, but they are not a âcure.â Sleeping pills should be used only for a few days. Using them longer can make your insomnia come back. Sleeping pills can be dangerous for people with certain health problems. Talk to your doctor before you take any medicine to help you sleep.

    Do Complementary Or Alternative Sleep Aids Work

    Effective Insomnia Treatment. Top UK rated hypnotherapy team since 2008

    There isn’t enough scientific evidence to say whether most complementary and alternative sleep aids help treat insomnia.24

    • Certain relaxation techniques may be safe and effective in treating long-term insomnia. These techniques include using music, meditation, and yoga to relax the mind and body before sleeping.24
    • Some dietary supplements also claim to help people sleep. Manufacturers may label dietary supplements like melatonin as a “natural” product. Most of these products have not been proven to help people with insomnia. Melatonin may be useful for treating short-term insomnia for shift workers or people who have jet lag, but you should probably not take it long-term.24

    The Food and Drug Administration does not regulate dietary supplements like vitamins, minerals, and herbs in the same way it regulates medicines. Use this Understanding Drug-Supplement Interactions tool to learn how dietary supplements may interact with the prescription and over-the-counter medicines you take.

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    Dont Worry If You Dont Fall Asleep Instantly

    Is it possible to fall asleep in five minutes? Many people make the mistake of trying to fall asleep almost instantly, but going from wide awake to snoozing isnt always like flipping off a switch.

    Instead, start to wind down around an hour before bedtime, slowly setting up a sleep-friendly environment in your bedroom by dimming your lights and relaxing your body.

    Go To Bed And Wake Up At The Same Time

    Its not the most fun solution for fixing broken sleep, but sticking to a specific bedtime and wakeup time really could make all the difference in helping you to learn how to sleep for longer.

    Our circadian rhythm loves routine, and we fall asleep and stay asleep better when we consistently go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, says Dr Browning. By moving our bedtime and wake up times day by day we are, in essence, giving ourselves jet-lag. You heard it here first: no more weekend lie-ins.

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