June 25, 2014 - Why Can't I Sleep?

Insomnia likely plagues everyone at one time or another. There are those who suffer through sleepless nights on a regular basis and others who are only occasionally affected by it. Either way, it is frustrating. Insomnia can be related to sleep onset when one can't fall asleep, and/or sleep maintenance when one can't stay asleep. Some basic tips to avoid sleep onset delays are to avoid getting into bed until you are ready to fall asleep, remove all work related items from your bedroom to avoid visual reminders about work, don't eat in bed or watch TV in bed, and make sure you remove excess clutter from your bed. To facilitate better sleep maintenance avoid drinking fluids for several hours before going to sleep to decrease nighttime urination, don't eat right before going to bed, decrease or eliminate alcohol consumption, and think about getting something like a small fan for 'white noise' to eliminate waking from small sounds. If none of that works then there are both over the counter and prescription sleep aids. Benadryl (also called diphenhydramine) is an allergy pill that causes drowsiness and so is used in a lot of 'PM' medications. It is not habit forming and is considered a very safe drug. Melatonin doesn't seem to work too well but may be more useful for jet lag. Prescription pills are also available and if you have exhausted other possibilities then schedule an appointment with me to discuss which one might be best suited for your needs.

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