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Insomnia guide

Insomnia is a common sleep disorder. People who have insomnia have difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or both. As a result, they may not get enough sleep or they may have poor-quality sleep. As a result, they may feel exhausted and lethargic during their waking hours. Insomnia can have a significant impact on the rest of your life.

Chronic insomnia lasts for a month or more. Most cases of chronic insomnia are secondary, which means that they are the symptom or side effect of some other problem - for example medicines or anxiety.

By contrast, primary insomnia isn't due to any other conditions, but is its own distinct disorder. Primary insomnia isn't well understood and this can lead to further distress for the sufferer.

Side effects of insomnia

Common side effects of insomnia (both primary and chronic), include difficulty with focussing on tasks, memory problems, feeling anxious, depressed or irritable.

Common techniques for dealing with insomnia

1. See your doctor - A doctor will be able to consider your case on an individual basis and recommend the best course of treatment for you. If other types of natural methods fail, your doctor may be able to subscribe sleeping tablets.

2. Consider your bed - Investing in a good quality mattress and pillow can improve your comfort and posture.

3. Try alternative therapy - Alternative solutions like white noise, light therapy and medication have been recommended by some sleep specialists and used successfully by thousands of patients.

4. Take a warm bath - The temperature drop that results from getting out of a bath will let your body know that it's time for sleep.

5. Cut the caffeine - Drinking herbal tea has been shown to have relaxing qualities, and most are naturally caffeine free.

6. Set a regular routine - Go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning. Over time your body will adjust to this sleep pattern and insomnia should subside.

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