Insomnia is generally defined as difficulty falling asleep, waking frequently during the night, waking up too early, or even simply not feeling fully rested upon waking. Your episodes of insomnia may occur occasionally, or may exist long-term. There are many possible causes, including the following:
- diet, including excess caffeine and/or refined sugars, or simply overeating
- excessive exposure to noise or light
- poor sleep habits (e.g. going to bed at different times each night, daytime napping, or spending too much time in bed while awake)
- lack of exercise
- certain medical conditions such as depression, anxiety, stress, cancer, alcoholism, restless leg syndrome, hypothyroidism, urinary issues, or certain types of anemia
- certain medications including cold medications or diet pills
- pain, such as back pain, headaches, fibromyalgia, or arthritis
- heavy cigarette smoking
Your doctor may prescribe any of a variety of medications, including sedatives and tranquilizers, although these can only be used in the short-term because of side effects, decrease in efficacy, and a possibility of dependency (use of these drugs should always be under a doctor's supervision). Psychotherapy may also help, and a sleep study (referred to as polysomnography) may be asked for in order to determine the type and severity of your sleep condition.
Establishing better sleep habits, such as setting specific times to go to bed and to wake up, plus ensuring that you have at least seven hours of sleep may help. Also, consider quitting smoking, and doing some relaxing activities before bed, such as reading a book or meditating. Visit our naturopath for a diet plan that can help, and try some acupuncture and TCM, as it is great for treating underlying conditions that can affect your sleep. Also, osteopathy or massage therapy can assist you in relaxing and putting your body in the right state for healthy, replenishing sleep.
Contact us for a FREE consultation on how natural therapy can help you with your insomnia.
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