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What Can You Do For Insomnia

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Relieving Anxiety That Keeps You From Falling Or Staying Asleep

Doctor, I Have Insomnia. What Can I Do? | Alon Avidan, MD | UCLAMDChat

If sleep worries are getting in the way of your ability to unwind at night, the following strategies may help. The goal is to train your body to associate the bed with sleep and nothing elseespecially not frustration and anxiety.

Use the bedroom only for sleeping and sex. With many of us working from home now, it can be difficult to avoid, but if possible dont work, use your computer, or watch TV in your bedroom. The goal is to associate the bedroom with sleep alone, so that your brain and body get a strong signal that its time to nod off when you get into bed.

Move bedroom clocks out of view. Anxiously watching the minutes tick by when you cant sleepknowing that youre going to be exhausted when the alarm goes offis a surefire recipe for insomnia. You can use an alarm, but make sure you cant see the time when youre in bed.

Get out of bed when you cant sleep. Dont try to force yourself to sleep. Tossing and turning only amps up your anxiety. Get up, leave the bedroom, and do something relaxing, such as reading, meditating, or taking a bath. When youre sleepy, go back to bed.

Five Tips For Better Sleep

Drink up. No, not alcohol, which can interfere with sleep. Gamaldo recommends warm milk, chamomile tea and tart cherry juice for patients with sleep trouble.

Though there isnt much scientific proof that any of these nighttime drinks work to improve your slumber, theres no harm in trying them, Gamaldo says. She recommends them to patients who want treatment without side effects or drug interactions.

Warm milk has long been believed to be associated with chemicals that simulate the effects of tryptophan on the brain. This is a chemical building block for the substance serotonin, which is involved in the sleep-wake transition, Gamaldo says.

Chamomile tea can also be helpful. Its believed to have flavonoids that may interact with benzodiazepine receptors in the brain that are also involved with the sleep-wake transition, she says.

Plus, chamomile tea doesnt have caffeine, unlike green tea or Earl Grey. Finally, tart cherry juice might support melatonin production and support a healthy sleep cycle.

Exercise . Physical activity can improve sleep, though researchers arent completely sure why. Its known that moderate aerobic exercise boosts the amount of nourishing slow wave sleep you get. But you have to time it right: Gamaldo says that aerobic exercise releases endorphins, chemicals that keep people awake.

Dim The Lights With A Glow Light

Light is an important signal that tells your body what mode to be in. While bright lights like blue light are great for keeping you alert, ambient yellow-toned light can help signal to your body that its time to turn in.

Using a dimming light, like a glow light, can help your body gradually relax into a sleep-ready state. For the best results, start dimming your lights slowly after dinner, until youre ready for bed in your dark, cozy haven.

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How To Relieve Insomnia Without Medication: Part 1

Feeling sleepy? Youre not alone. According to the CDC, on any given day, as many as one in five adults suffers from an insufficient amount of sleep! Insomnia affects adolescents, adults and the elderly. And as we age, sleep can become even more elusive, so developing good sleep habits when youre younger can pay off later in life.

Dietary Supplements For Insomnia

How to know if you have insomnia and what you can do to treat your ...

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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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.

Getting A Good Nights Sleep During The Menopausal Transition

To improve your sleep through the menopausal transition and beyond:

  • Follow a regular sleep schedule. Go to sleep and get up at the same time each day.
  • Avoid napping in the late afternoon or evening if you can. It may keep you awake at night.
  • Develop a bedtime routine. Some people read a book, listen to soothing music, or soak in a warm bath.
  • Try not to watch television or use your computer or mobile device in the bedroom. The light from these devices may make it difficult for you to fall asleep.
  • Keep your bedroom at a comfortable temperature, not too hot or too cold, and as quiet as possible.
  • Exercise at regular times each day but not close to bedtime.
  • Stay away from caffeine late in the day.
  • Remember, alcohol wont help you sleep. Even small amounts make it harder to stay asleep.

Talk to your doctor if you are having trouble sleeping. If these changes to your bedtime routine dont help as much as youd like, you may want to consider cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. This problem-solving approach to therapy has been shown to help improve sleep in women with menopausal symptoms. Cognitive behavioral therapy can be found through a class or in one-on-one sessions. Be sure that your therapy is guided by a trained professional with experience working with women during their menopausal transition. Your doctor may be able to recommend a therapist in your area.

Read about this topic in Spanish. Lea sobre este tema en espaƱol.

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Do A Body Scan When You Cant Sleep

Its amazing how tense and sore your body can get when youre tossing and turning all night. A body scan is another sleep technique used in insomnia training, and it enables you to pay attention to the physical sensation of your body and reclaim control over how it feels.

It also switches your brain from panicking about not being able to sleep and focuses you on relaxing instead. Body scans can last from one to 30 minutes, and the more you practise them, the more effective they are. Heres one of the highest-rated body scans for sleep on YouTube

What Other Sleep Problems Can Teens Have

Here’s what you can do if you suffer from insomnia

Periodic Limb Movement Disorder or Restless Legs Syndrome

Some teens might have:

  • periodic limb movement disorder: leg and arm twitches or jerks at night
  • restless legs syndrome: the urge to move their legs, mostly at night. They may feel tingling, itching, cramping, or burning.

These disorders can make teens have trouble falling asleep and be restless through the night. During the day, they feel tired, cranky, and may have attention or behavior problems. Some teens might have both disorders.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is when a person stops breathing briefly during sleep. Someone who has it might snore, have noisy breathing, toss and turn, and sweat heavily at night. Because they miss out on restful sleep, they usually feel very sleepy during the day and may fall asleep in classes or take naps.

Obstructive sleep apnea happens when something blocks the airway . People who are overweight also are more likely to have apnea. If its not treated, it can lead to learning, attention, behavior, and heart problems.


Most teens have nightmares once in a while. Nightmares can wake someone up during the night and make it hard to fall back to sleep. The most common triggers for frequent nightmares are stress or anxiety. Other things that can trigger them include illness, some medicines, using drugs or alcohol, and not getting enough sleep.



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Create A Bedtime Routine

Creating a consistent bedtime routine can help you set your internal body clock so you know when to wind down for the night. Your bedtime routine can be as simple as playing a pre-bedtime playlist or taking a nightly bath what matters is that your routine works for you.

Your bedtime routine should be catered to your self-care preferences. Theres no one specific bedtime routine that works for everyone, but if you stick to a simple nightly ritual, your body will thank you for it.

Mind Your Circadian Rhythm

Going to bed and waking up the same time every day, even on the weekends, can help you get good sleep. Maintaining a sleep schedule helps your body have a consistent sleep-wake cycle. Over time, this will help you get to sleep quickly and get deep sleep throughout the night. Another way to optimize your sleep patterns is to get adequate sunlight as soon as you get out of bed in the morning. Go outside without sun glasses and get 5 to 30 minutes of sun exposure to tell your brain to wake up. Early morning sun exposure also increases the production of melatonin.

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General Tips For Sleeping Better

The following are commonly advised to help promote sleep in people with sleep difficulties, and may be all that is necessary:

  • Reduce caffeine – do not have any food, medicines, or drinks that contain caffeine or other stimulants for six hours before bedtime . Some people have found that cutting out caffeine completely through the day has helped.
  • Do not smoke within six hours before bedtime.
  • Do not drink alcohol within six hours before bedtime.
  • Do not have a heavy meal just before bedtime .
  • Do not do any strenuous exercise within four hours of bedtime .
  • Body rhythms – try to get into a routine of wakefulness during the day and sleepiness at night. The body becomes used to rhythms or routines. If you keep to a pattern, you are more likely to sleep well. Therefore:
  • No matter how tired you are, do not sleep or nap during the day.
  • It is best to go to bed only when sleepy-tired in the late evening.
  • Switch the light out as soon as you get into bed.
  • Always get up at the same time each day, seven days a week, however short the time asleep. Use an alarm to help with this. Resist the temptation to lie in – even after a poor night’s sleep. Do not use weekends to catch up on sleep, as this may upset the natural body rhythm that you have got used to in the week.
  • The bedroom should be a quiet, relaxing place to sleep:
  • It should not be too hot, cold, or noisy.
  • Earplugs and eye shades may be useful if you are sleeping with a snoring or wakeful partner.
  • Go to bed when sleepy-tired.
  • 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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    Lifestyle Factors That Can Cause Insomnia

    Your lifestyle choices and factors can impact your health and sleep both in the short term and long term.

    Lifestyle factors contribute to your physical health, mental health, and even your ability to get good rest.

    A prime example of lifestyle factors affecting your sleep is the case of obesity-associated sleep apnea. Excess weight or continued weight gain can make it more difficult for you to breathe throughout the night, causing sleep disturbances and lower quality rest.

    Shift work, jet lag from changing time zones, or hormonal changes can also contribute to sleep difficulties.

    Another example of how your everyday factors can dictate your sleep quality is caffeine consumption. Caffeine is found in coffee, chocolate, and energy drinks, and it can be great when you need a boost of energy. While helpful in the short term, caffeine doesnt fight fatigue, and in fact, if you consume caffeine too close to your bedtime, it can cause trouble sleeping and acute insomnia.

    Cure For Chronic Insomnia

    If your chronic insomnia is caused by an underlying medical condition, such as acid reflux or pain, treating the condition may cure your insomnia.

    Chronic health conditions that cause insomnia can be managed with changes in treatment, in turn managing or preventing insomnia. Talk to your doctor about changing medications or treatment plans if a drug youre taking is causing insomnia.

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    Treating Insomnia: Behavioral Therapy

    If good sleep hygiene doesn’t solve your sleeping problems, behavioral therapy may. Here is a quick summary of some techniques:

    Relaxation training. Learn deep breathing, progressive muscular relaxation, or meditation. Relaxing your mind at bedtime will help you drift off to sleep.

    Stimulus control therapy. Go to bed only when you are sleepy. Don’t read, watch TV, snack, or listen to music in bed. Get up at the same time every day, no matter how little you’ve slept. Avoid daytime napping.

    Sleep restriction therapy. Reduce your time in bed to the estimated total time you actually sleep in an average night by going to bed later, but don’t go below five hours. Make the change by getting into bed later, not getting up earlier. Get up at the same time every day. Maintain the same bedtime every night for a week, and then move it 15 minutes earlier every week until you get a satisfying, refreshing amount of sleep. Then maintain the same schedule every day.

    Cognitive therapy. Learn to replace negative thoughts about sleep with positive thoughts .

    Things To Do When You Have Insomnia

    Cant sleep? What you can do to help you snooze

    April 22, 2018 By Ben McEvoy

    So youve tried everything to cure your insomnia. And nothing seems to work. It sucks.

    Even though I wrote one of the most popular How To Cure Insomnia posts on the face of Google

    I still struggle with not sleeping from time to time.

    Sometimes you just have to face facts:

    You aint getting any sleep tonight.

    So what do you do when you have insomnia that just wont quit?

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    How Is Insomnia Managed Or Treated

    Short-term insomnia often gets better on its own. For chronic insomnia, your healthcare provider may recommend:

    • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia: Therapy : CBT-I is a brief, structured intervention for insomnia that helps you identify and replace thoughts and behaviors that cause or worsen sleep problems with habits that promote sound sleep. Unlike sleeping pills, CBT-I helps you overcome the underlying causes of your sleep problems.
    • Medications: Behavior and lifestyle changes can best help you improve your sleep over the long term. In some cases, though, taking sleeping pills for a short time can help you sleep. Doctors recommend taking sleep medicines only now and then or only for a short time. They are not the first choice for treating chronic insomnia.

    How You Can Treat Insomnia Yourself

    Insomnia usually gets better by changing your sleeping habits.

    Watching television or using devices such as a smartphone right before going to bed can result in poor sleep. You should also avoid smoking, or drink alcohol, tea or coffee at least 6 hours before going to bed.

    Try to:

    • go to bed and wake up at the same time every day
    • relax at least 1 hour before bed for example, take a bath or read a book
    • only go to bed when you feel tired
    • make sure your mattress, pillows and covers are comfortable
    • exercise regularly during the day

    The following might also contribute towards a bad nights sleep:

    • eating a big meal late at night
    • exercising at least 4 hours before bed
    • napping during the day
    • driving when you feel sleepy
    • sleep in after a bad night’s sleep stick to your regular sleeping hours instead

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    How Can I Sleep Better

    If you are not getting enough sleep at night, take a look at your sleep routine. Set regular bed- and wake-up times. If you know what time you have to wake up in the morning, count back at least 8 hours from there. Try to stick to the schedule as close as you can, even on weekends.

    Here are some tips for better sleep:

    • Keep the bedroom dark, cool, and quiet.
    • Dont keep a TV or video game system in the bedroom.
    • About an hour before bedtime, put away homework and turn off all screens . Turn off or silence cellphones. Consider charging phones outside the room.
    • Try a relaxing bedtime routine, like taking a warm bath or shower, reading, listening to music, or meditating before going to sleep.
    • Avoid caffeine in the late afternoon and evening.
    • Get regular exercise .
    • If you are very tired during the day, take a short nap in the early afternoon. Longer or later naps make it harder to fall asleep at night.

    Talk to your doctor if you have trouble falling or staying asleep, snore most nights, or you think you’re getting enough rest at night but still feel tired during the day.

    How Is Insomnia Diagnosed

    Why Can

    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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