If sleepless nights are impacting your daytime activity, it’s time check out your insomnia treatment options. Depending on what is causing your insomnia, there may be an easy fix or you may need to make some adjustments that take more time to have a significant impact.
Let’s look at some of the causes of insomnia and the strategies that can help you get a good night’s sleep.
Stress: Stress is one of the main causes of insomnia. The demands and pressures of life often lead to worries that can interfere with your sleep. The best way to improve your sleep in this case is to manage your stress. People often turn to over the counter and prescription sleep aids, but this only treats the symptoms of insomnia and not the cause. If you want solutions that last long-term, more effective strategies are regular practice of relaxation exercises, learning ways to manage your worry thoughts, and/or seeking professional assistance to help you reduce and manage stress and anxiety.
Pain, chronic illness: Medical problems are a major cause of insomnia. Chronic pain or long-term illnesses and the treatment that they require can lead to difficulty falling and staying asleep. It is important to consult your treating doctor to find out how medications may be affecting your sleep. Mindfulness has also been shown to assist people to manage chronic pain which in turn, can assist with your insomnia.
Food, drinks and other substances: Take note of what you ingest because a number of foods, drinks and substances can affect your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. Coffee, chocolate, and even cheese can cause insomnia. Nicotine can also be a culprit. And both licit and illicit substances can lead to trouble sleeping, including alcohol which can lead to a very restless sleep. Write down everything you eat and drink for a week to figure out what may be causing insomnia. In the case of medications and substances, seek medical advice before you make any changes.
Change of schedule: Insomnia can be triggered by changes to your work schedule. Shift-work particularly has been shown to cause problems with sleep. If your body does not adjust to your new schedule, consult a sleep specialist who can assist you with this transition.
There are a number of things that can impact your sleep including how you are feeling emotionally and physically and your behaviours during the day like what consume and the kind of work that you do. The first step to treating insomnia is to try to understand what is causing it and then you can make the necessary changes to improve your sleep. It’s okay to ask for help, specialists in insomnia treatment can give you the support and strategies you need.