Its three o’clock in the morning and you can’t sleep. You stare at the clock, aware that the alarm will go off in a few hours, but you can’t sleep. You know you have a busy day ahead and need to be rested, but you can’t sleep. The harder you try to fall asleep, the more sleep eludes you.
Does this pattern seem all too familiar to you?
Then you likely are suffering from a condition known as insomnia. Insomnia is an experience of inadequate or poor quality sleep as characterized by one or more of the following sleep complaints:
- difficulty initiating sleep;
- difficulty maintaining sleep;
- or Waking too early in the morning.
Take a little comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Research is showing that over 70 million North Americans are suffering from some type of sleep disorder.
If you consistently work the night shift or are employed as a shift worker, this inconsistent schedule is likely only compounding your difficulties. There are many factors which relate to sleeping difficulties and each is as unique as the individual. Triggers may include (but not limited to) stress, alcohol, diet, physical illness, etc.
Good Sleep Practices You Can Use in Managing Your Insomnia
Although the specific causes of insomnia differ from one person to the next, there are some general habits you can adopt that may help you achieve a more powerful sleep state. Not each of these practices may apply to everyone with insomnia, so you may want to focus on one or two that seem particularly relevant to your situation.
Sleep experts recommend the following tips for good sleep:
Establish a regular bedtime routine and a regular sleep-wake schedule. That means getting up at the same time every day of the week, no matter how much you’ve slept the night before, and going to bed at about the same time.