There's nothing worse than a poor night's sleep, which leaves you tired and irritable and with decreased concentration and memory the next day. The harder you try to get to sleep, the more difficult it becomes!
Sleeping tablets are safe and effective for up to 10-14 days, but can quickly become habit-forming. With longer use, they become less effective and sleep can deteriorate further when they are ceased.
Insomnia is often due to underlying anxiety, depression, a medication or another medical condition. If it persists, see your doctor for an assessment.
Try these proven strategies
1. Develop a relaxing pre-bed routine, e.g. have a warm bath then read a book. Stop work or study 30 minutes before bed.
2. Use bed only for sleep and sex. Do not read or watch TV in bed.
3. Go to bed only when sleepy and relaxed.
4. If you do not fall asleep after about 20 minutes, get up and go to another room and do something quiet and not stimulating. Return when sleepy. Repeat this cycle as needed till you fall asleep.
5. Get up at about the same time each morning (usually 7-7.30am) 7 days a week, even after a poor night's sleep.
6. Do not nap during the day.
7. Avoid caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, heavy meals and exercise close to bedtime.
8. Exercise regularly during the day.
9. Avoid worrying in bed. Set aside some worry time during daytime hours.
10. Short courses of the herbal remedies valerian or melatonin help some people.
Visit http://www.sleepnet.com/ for more info.
Please note this information was correct at time of printing.
For up to date information, speak to your doctor.