Tags: insomnia | cause | cure | remedy | sleep

How Can I Cure My Insomnia?

By    |   Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 06:03 PM

Question: What should I do for my insomnia?
 
Dr. Hibberd's answer:
 
Insomnia management can be simple or complex, depending on whether it is related to merely poor sleep hygiene or unaddressed medical conditions. Avoid falling into the trap of using sleep aid medications for long periods of time. They are only a good idea to use for very brief periods until the underlying cause has been corrected.
 
Some things to consider: 
  • Is your diet healthy? If not sure, see your doctor and perhaps consider consulting a dietician for an assessment.  
  • Do you nap during the day? If so, try cutting out the nap and allowing at least 8-10 hours for sleep.
  • Are you managing your stress levels? It’s also a good idea to address stressors in your life. Try some yoga or meditation before resorting to medication use.
  • Are you exercising? If not, start getting some physical activity every day.
  • Avoid eating within four hours of bedtime.
  • Steer clear of caffeine and consider discontinuing non-prescribed supplements, at least temporarily.
  • Do you suffer from depression or anxiety? Seek treatment, as both can disrupt sleep.
  • Do you have any underlying medical disorder, such as malnutrition, a vitamin deficiency, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, diabetes, a vascular disorder such as carotid disease, heart disease, or any infectious conditions? These are but a sampling of disorders that may cause insomnia.
  • Do you awaken tired, or with a headache, or are you sluggish during the day? If so, consider a screening evaluation for sleep apnea. 
Strangely, sleep deprivation is a common cause of chronic insomnia. Melatonin can be useful for some with insomnia that is caused by jet lag and shift-related insomnia. But this agent does not induce sleep as deep as is seen with a prescription hypnotic such as prescription Ativan or Ambien.
 
Do avoid the long-term use of hypnotics for sleep if at all possible as they can be addictive. They are only to be used for five to 14 days at a time. Antihistamines such as Benadryl or Atarax cause drowsiness but do not induce a healthy REM sleep, and are poor choices for regular use.
 
If the cause of your insomnia remains elusive, after trying these options, it may be time to have a more complete evaluation by your doctor.
 

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Dr-Hibberd
Insomnia management can be simple or complex, depending on whether it is related to merely poor sleep hygiene or unaddressed medical conditions.
insomnia, cause, cure, remedy, sleep
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2014-03-20
Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 06:03 PM
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