Insomnia: a problem for many

What is insomnia?

First of all, it needs to be pointed out that insomnia is not a disease, it is a symptom. In broad terms, it refers to difficulty with how well or how much you sleep. Insomnia is known to be experienced differently by different people, and persistent cases often need to be treated by professionals in a sleep disorder clinic.

It is also important to recognize that there is huge variety in people’s sleep patterns. Some might consider a good sleep to be eight hours or more, while others can get by on four hours per night.

What are the symptoms?

Some examples of insomnia symptoms are:

– trouble falling asleep
– waking up during the night and being unable to return to sleep
– waking up too early in the morning
– feeling tired when waking

How do you treat insomnia?

It depends on the length of time you have suffered insomnia and the severity of the problem.

Long term and severe problems need to be clinically treated.

However, with short term and mild cases you can do much to rectify the issue yourself. Here are a few good ideas to try.

Do not nap during the day. This will ensure that come bedtime, you will be sufficiently tired to sleep.

Stop smoking and drinking alcohol. Both disrupt the body’s natural systems and can put you out of order.

Steer clear of caffeinated drinks such as coffee, tea and energy drinks.

Do not consume high-sugar food or drink in the few hours before bedtime.

Do a relaxing activity, such as stretching, meditating or taking a warm bath.

Make sure your bedroom is kept for sleeping – do not use it for watching television, reading or worrying.

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