Medical Questions > Mental Health > Sleep Disorders Forum

Having difficulty falling sleeping. And staying asleep.

I am having difficulty falling asleep at night for the past couple of months. Even if I manage to fall asleep I awake after 1 to 3 hours and have to struggle to fall back asleep. Help me?
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First Helper James1975

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replied August 16th, 2011
Especially eHealthy

Physicians who specialize in sleep disorders recommend that their patients have good sleep hygiene. They usually have the patients practice the following for several weeks before doing any sleep studies. Unfortunately, most people want to just take a pill instead of changing their habits.

You should try the following suggestions, from the American Sleep Association:

* The bedroom is reserved for two things – sleep and love making
- Do not watch TV or read in bed. Do not place your office in the bedroom.

* Maintain a regular sleep routine
- Go to bed at the same time. Wake up at the same time. Ideally, your schedule
should remain the same (+/- 20 minutes) every night of the week.

* Avoid naps
- Naps decrease the ‘Sleep Debt’ that is necessary for easy sleep onset.
Each of us needs a certain amount of sleep per 24-hour period and we
do not need any more than that. When we take naps, it decreases the
amount of sleep that we need the next night – which may cause sleep
fragmentation and difficulty initiating sleep, and may lead to insomnia.

* Do not stay in bed awake for more than 5-10 minutes
- If you find your mind racing, or worrying about not being able to sleep,
in the middle of the night, get out of bed, and sit in a chair in the
dark. Do your mind racing in the chair until you are sleepy, then return
to bed. No TV or internet during these periods! That will just stimulate
you more. If this happens several times during the night, that is OK.
Just maintain your regular wake time.

* Do not drink caffeine within a few hours of bedtime
- The effects of caffeine may last for several hours after ingestion. Caffeine
can fragment sleep, and cause difficulty initiating sleep. If you drink
caffeine, use it only before noon. Remember that soft drinks and tea
contain caffeine as well.

* Avoid substances that interfere with sleep
- Cigarettes, alcohol, and stimulates may cause fragmented sleep.

* Exercise regularly
- Exercise before 2 pm every day. Exercise promotes continuous sleep. Avoid
rigorous exercise just before bedtime. Rigorous exercise may circulate
endorphins around the body which may cause difficulty initiating sleep.

* Have a quiet, comfortable bedroom
- Set your bedroom thermostat at a comfortable temperature. Generally, a
little cooler is better than a little warmer. Eliminate extraneous
noise that may disrupt sleep. No radios, MP3 players, or stereos.
Background ‘white noise’ like a fan is OK. If your pets wake you, keep
them outside the bedroom. Your bedroom should be dark, turn off bright
lights, a small night light, for safety, is OK.

* If you are a ‘clock watcher’ at night, hide the clock
- Turn the clock so it faces the wall or place the alarm clock in a drawer.

* Have a comfortable pre-bedtime routine
- Take warm bath, shower, or hot tab. Try meditation relaxation techniques, or
have a 'quiet time' routine.
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replied August 19th, 2011
Stress is always the major culprit
Sleep helps body in many different ways - found some good information at http://www.nutritional-supplements-benefit h.htm .

Try to get your physical done. get your blood test done and see if there is any abnormality. Not getting to sleep may be cause due to other health factors.

Also try to keep stress in control.
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replied September 6th, 2011
I'm a little late to this one but I'm surprised that someone actually was on target....

most people will reply like gaelic and give you some bs lecture about sleeping. like we don't know how to sleep!

so, anyway, yea... the problem here is stress. just calm down, relax, take it easy and in a week or two you'll go back to normal.
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