Insomnia robs you of the sleep you need for overall health and well-being. When it is left untreated, insomnia can begin to negatively impact your everyday life. If you are experiencing insomnia, read on for more information about the condition and how to improve it.
Insomnia is a sleep disorder characterized by the difficulty or inability to fall asleep or stay asleep. The condition, which affects approximately 40 million people each year, can be acute or chronic. Insomnia can have negative effects on your ability to perform at work or school, causing you to feel fatigued and unable to concentrate throughout the day.
March is National Sleep Awareness Month, so we’re providing advice on habits, supplements and other solutions that can help you achieve better quality sleep.
Acute and chronic are insomnia’s two main forms. Acute or short-term insomnia occurs as a response to significant life changes or stressors and can affect your sleep for a few days or weeks, but typically it is not longer than three months. Chronic insomnia typically lasts beyond three months.
Chronic insomnia leads to many difficulties during daytime hours, including:
Dealing with insomnia may be different, depending on your age, other conditions, and the severity of insomnia you may be experiencing.There are several things you can try at home to cope with insomnia.
Whether you walk or engage in a workout routine, physical movement can help increase the probability of a high-quality sleep and help re-energize you if you feel fatigued. If you’re just beginning to exercise, start with small, low-impact outings, gradually increasing to 30 minutes or more of daily movement.
Anxiety and racing thoughts commonly accompany insomnia. Meditation, yoga, and deep breathing can help you calm your mind and help you to feel centered.
Begin by focusing on your breathing for a few minutes per day. Concentrate on every aspect of this process, such as how your lungs feel as you inhale and exhale and how the air feels as it enters and leaves your nose.
Avoiding naps during the day and going to bed at the same time each night can help regulate your circadian rhythm and allow you to fall asleep more quickly. Circadian rhythms are shifts in the body, brain, and behavior that occur on a 24-hour schedule. One way to help you get to bed at the same time each night is to develop a bedtime routine that helps you to relax.
Your routine can include dimming the lights and turning off phones and other devices at least an hour before bedtime and drinking a cup of chamomile tea or another calming, non-caffeinated herbal tea.
Supplements like melatonin and valerian are known for their ability to facilitate sleep, albeit in different ways.
Responsible for sleep cycle regulation, melatonin is produced naturally by our bodies. As we get older, melatonin production slows. A 3- to 5-milligram melatonin supplement can be taken approximately 30 minutes before bed.
Note: Melatonin supplements can interact with certain medications, such as those used for birth control, diabetes, and immune suppression.
Valerian is a root with mild sedative properties that is available in supplement form. The supplement can be taken at a 200mg dosage 30 minutes before going to bed.
Note: Valerian root can become addictive and can increase the side effects of sleeping pills, alcohol, and other substances. It can also interfere with pharmaceutical medications. Make sure to consult with a doctor about incorporating Valerian root into your routine.
It can help to talk to your doctor to rule out or treat the underlying common causes of insomnia, such as restless legs syndrome, depression, hyperthyroidism, and sleep apnea. Many sleep aid medications are available for purchase at your local pharmacy. For more persistent insomnia, stronger medications may be prescribed.
Insomnia is a common condition that may or may not last for longer than three months. If you are sleep deprived and experiencing common insomnia symptoms, speaking with a doctor may help.
CallonDoc allows you to speak with a physician at any time and from any device. There’s no need to travel to or wait at a doctor’s office; just choose a condition, like insomnia, from the list, answer a few questions about your medical history and symptoms, select between home-delivery or your local pharmacy then submit your consultation.
Once a medical provider reviews and prescribes the appropriate treatment plan, it can be available at your pharmacy in as little as 1-2 hours or delivered to your home on a monthly or quarterly basis.