If you’re reading this, chances are you’re one of the millions of Americans who suffer from some form of insomnia. Whether it’s occasional difficulty falling asleep or chronic waking up in the middle of the night, insomnia can take a toll on your physical and mental health. Fortunately, there are things you can do to improve your sleep quality and get the restful night’s sleep you need.
Short-term insomnia is often caused by stressors in your life such as work deadlines, exams, or family conflict. These types of Insomnia usually last for a few days or weeks and generally don’t require medical treatment. Some self-care measures that can help include:
•Sticking to a regular sleep schedule as much as possible
•Exercising regularly (but not close to bedtime)
•Avoiding caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime
•Limiting screen time in the evening
•Creating a relaxing bedtime routine
•Practicing meditation or relaxation techniques
If your insomnia lasts for longer than a few weeks, it may be caused by an underlying medical condition such as arthritis, asthma, depression, or heart disease. It could also be the result of medications you’re taking for other conditions. In these cases, it’s important to see a doctor to rule out any potential health problems and find the best course of treatment. Treatment options for long-term insomnia include:
•Cognitive behavioral therapy – This type of therapy can help you change negative thought patterns and behaviors that are keeping you from sleeping well.
•Stimulus control therapy – This therapy involves creating new habits around sleep (such as going to bed only when you’re sleepy) in order to train your body to sleep better.
•Medications – In some cases, your doctor may prescribe medication to help you sleep better. The most common type of medication used for insomnia is called a sedative hypnotic.
Restless leg syndrome (RLS) – This condition causes an uncontrollable urge to move your legs when you’re trying to sleep. RLS can be treated with dopaminergic drugs, iron supplements, and anticonvulsants.
If you’re struggling with insomnia, know that you’re not alone. Millions of Americans suffer from some form of sleeplessness, but there are things you can do to improve your sleep quality. For occasional difficulty falling asleep, self-care measures such as sticking to a regular sleep schedule and avoiding caffeine before bedtime can help. If your insomnia lasts for longer than a few weeks, it’s important to see a doctor to rule out any underlying health problems and find the best course of treatment. With the right help, you can get the restful night’s sleep you need!