If thinking of all your New Year's resolutions is keeping you up at night, you're not alone. Insomnia is a common problem. Defined as trouble falling or staying asleep, it can cause trouble during the day too. Some conditions that cause or worsen insomnia are depression, anxiety, allergies, and pain. Poor sleep habits can also cause or worsen insomnia.
GOOD SLEEP HABITS (provided by Pharmacist’s Letter):
- Maintain a regular sleep schedule, even on weekends.
- Get regular exercise, but not in the late evening.
- Go to bed only when sleepy.
- Put your worries away when you go to bed (try deep breathing to clear your mind)
- Do something enjoyable and relaxing before bed (reading, bath, etc).
- Make your bedroom comfortable and quiet.
- Avoid large meals just before bedtime.
- Use your bedroom only for sleep and sexual activity.
- If you do not fall asleep within 20 minutes, get up and go to another room. Return to bed only when you feel drowsy.
- Remove your clock from your sight.
- Do not nap during the day. If you must nap, do so for only 30 minutes in the early afternoon.
- Avoid alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine.
- Avoid frequent use of sedatives.
- Spend time outdoors at the same time each day.
- Have your pharmacist check your medicines, in case any of them keep you from sleeping.
- Avoid bright lights from the TB, computers, phones, video games, etc. before bed.
If adopting these sleep habits doesn’t help your insomnia, talk to your pharmacist or other healthcare provider. He or she will need to figure out the cause of your insomnia; a medication may be recommended. Even if using a medication for sleep, the above sleep habits should still be used.