What to do in case you can’t sleep

Sleeping is an important process where body and mind regenerates. Not being able to sleep is a serious problem. But you are not alone! Many people have sleep problems. Just like them, you can sleep well again!
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Can’t sleep? here’s what you can do….

Last night you couldn’t sleep and as a result, you were tired and irritable all day. Now it’s bedtime and you’re worried if it will happen again.

That becomes a self fulfilling prophecy, of course. You toss and turn. Every time you look at the clock, you get more aggravated. You know the next day will be awful, and it’s even worse than you expected. Once insomnia gets started, it’s very hard to stop the pattern.

You know you need to find some way to get a decent night’s sleep.

Medical problems can cause irregular sleep

First, you need to find out if there are underlying medical causes for your sleeping problems. If you haven’t had a physical for a while, you’ll want a doctor to examine you and talk about whether you have a medical condition that is causing insomnia.

People with arthritis, for example, may have trouble sleeping because of pain and need to take pain medication at night before bed. Certain mental conditions like depression and bipolar disorder can cause insomnia.

Sleeping problems can also be linked to cancer, congestive heart failure, lung disease, increased blood sugar levels, overactive thyroid, stroke, Parkinson disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and gastroesophagael reflux disease.

If your doctor thinks you have a sleep disorder like sleep apnea or Restless Legs Syndrome, he or she may refer you to a sleep center for special testing.

Side effects of drugs

One thing to check on is whether you are taking any drugs that can affect sleep. A number of prescription drugs can cause sleeping problems, including antidepressants, stimulants (such as Ritalin), corticostersoids, heart and blood pressure medication, and allergy medications.

Over-the-counter drugs may contain caffeine and other stimulants that keep you from sleeping. These drugs include decongestants, weight loss products, and some pain medications. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about whether any drugs could be causing your insomnia.

Say goodbye to bad habits

If there’s no medical condition causing your insomnia, some changes in your life may be needed to improve your sleep. Avoid drinking coffee, tea, cola, or other drinks with caffeine in the late afternoon because that can keep you from falling asleep.

If you smoke, your insomnia is another good reason to quit, since nicotine is a stimulant that causes insomnia. Another stimulant is exercise, which is great for your body generally. However, exercising within 6 hours of bedtime can contribute to insomnia.

Remove TV from your bedroom

You need to work to improving your sleep environment and habits. If there’s a television or computer in your bedroom, it’s a good idea to remove them and just use that room and your bed for sleeping.

Big meals right before bed can make it hard to sleep. Finding a way to relax before bed is important. Create a nightly ritual like a warm bath, breathing exercises, reading or listening to quiet music. Avoid drinking alcohol, which may relax you, but will make you sleep more lightly and wake up during the night.

Any beverage close to bedtime is likely to make you wake up and have to go to the bathroom a lot during the night. Put your clock where you can’t see it so you don’t keep checking the time and worrying about whether you’ll ever get to sleep.

Take sleep medications as last resort!

If you still are having trouble sleeping, you may want to consider sleep medication. Over-the-counter sleep aides contain antihistamines that make you drowsy, but they can cause dry mouth, daytime sleepiness, and/or blurred vision.

Your doctor may prescribe sleeping pills to help you break out of the insomnia pattern.

At some point in our lives, most of us get insomnia. Sleep is something we take for granted until we lose it. Making these changes in your life should soon help you fall asleep more easily and stay asleep. Curing your insomnia and getting good sleep is an incredible relief.

7 Comments on “What to do in case you can’t sleep
  1. Thank you for all your ideas. I have tried them all and I still cannot sleep. It’s as if falling asleep at a decent time has left my body. I do have chronic pain that can not be treated with any medication. I just have to live with it. Sure it messes me up with itching, burning and overheating. I have to accept this pain until the day they come up with something for it that I can take. I do not drink, exercise befored bed, no computer, not tv, not phone calls to prepare for quiet 2-3 hours before bedtime. I am not worried and I just want to sleep so I can heal my being. I won’t take sleeping meds because they mess up the REM sleep and give me nightmares and cause memory loss. It is fake sleep. I wish someone could come up with a whole lost of different ideas because eveything I read, I do and they don’t work.
    Maybe we should just all hook up with other insominacts and live our lives that way. I have a new friend that stays up most of the night on purpose because she does he best work then. Well now I have a friend to do things on my schedule. What if I found 4 more friends like that? It’s like working the graveyard shift. Maybe we should make it into something positive and accept what is. I haven’t been able to fall asleep for years no matter what I do. I am open to new ideas if anyone has any. Thank you very much.

  2. My sleep is just awful. I can’t get a decent sleep at night. I’ve tried every single sleep guide out there but to no avail. I think I’ll start using meds because this insomnia is driving me crazy. I can’t sleep, no matter how tired I am.
    Anyway, thanks for the tips!

  3. Can someone help me…..
    I used to be a sound sleeper, however since I stopped smoking 17 months ago, I wake up every night exactly 3 hours after I went to bed regardless of the time I went to bed. Therefore if I went to bed at 9Pm, I will wake up at 12Pm, if I went to bed at 11Pm, I will wake up at 1Am, and so on. Then I am unable to sleep for exactly 4 hours. It is like I have a build in clock! It is really leaving me tired and without energy, and my work is fast paced and stressfull. That is exactly what keeps me busy those 4 hours, ” work.” What can I do to cure this without the use of drugs?

  4. I’m sorry to hear you guys are finding it difficult to sleep. Here are some things I’ve done that have helped me:

    If it looks like I’m awake and not going back to sleep for a while, I get out of bed and do something like read a book or knitting. I do something creative or satisfying, like prepping for the next day, it’s uplifting and helps me to get in a better mood so I can sleep. Prepping for the next day, for me, is making packed lunches, putting on the laundry, tidying up. I try to keep myself mildly busy, but not work up a sweat. The sense of satisfaction I get counts for a lot. Then, even if I can’t get back to sleep after that, at least I feel good because did something positive with that time.

    I resist strongly any negative idea or emotion, especially the frustration of not being able to sleep. I find that my thoughts and moods are key. Even a single negative emotion can really wreck my whole night.

    I sometimes wake up because of a bad dream or a panic attack. I’ve learned some breathing techniques that help a lot to calm me down. You can find a lot of breathing technique resources online. I learned mine doing Reiki classes.

    I’ve heard that people who have trouble with sleep have to keep the exact same sleep / waking pattern, even at the weekends. So put your alarm on as normal and try to go to bed so that you are going to be able to get up on the days you don’t work.

    I’ve also heard that food allergies and vitamin or mineral deficiencies can trigger insomnia. However, often the tests they do at the doctor do not always detect allergies or deficiencies. Eating a diet with fruits and veggies at the big end of the pyramid, and cutting out anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognise as food, that could really help. I recently found out I am allergic to milk products. It’s no biggie and it has helped my state of mind / health enormously.

    Feel well, everyone.

  5. And another thing!

    Sorry to hog this board, but I just remembered that the serotonin / melatonin rhythm is not only regulated by UV light but also temperature. Cooling down if you can’t sleep is a great strategy. Basically, I uncover my feet and legs and get cold, then when I really can’t stand it anymore! I get back under the covers and at least half the time I get back to sleep. Keeping your bedroom on the seriously cool side – no heating, leaving a window open – might really help.

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