There are over 90 prescription and over- the-counter medications used to treat insomnia. Before you take medication here are some things you can do:
1. Record a sleep journal. You’ll find a sleep journal under the resource tab on our website.
Recording a sleep journal can help you identify behaviors incompatible with sleep. For example one of my patients was prescribed medications for chronic illnesses to be taken at bedtime. She took her medications with green tea because you read green tea is relaxing.
Compared to coffee, green teahas less caffeine. But caffeine in any about interferrs with sleep. Caffeine blocks the receptor that stimulates sleep. While green tea has L-theanine, L-theanine causes a relaxed wakefulness. L-theanin may improve your coping ability when dealing with stressful situations at work but it is not a good relaxing agent if sleep is your goal.
2. Speaking of stress, you’ll sleep much better when you get the “junk” out of your life. This may be hard to accept but some things are not work the stress. Stress is a killer. I like to ask my patients, “Is it worth dying for?”
It’s impossible to sleep well if you are over stressed. Find a stress reduction program or look for do it yourself (DIY) tips .
One of the most relaxing activities I use is progressive muscle relaxation. Watch for the podcast for instructions
3. Create an environment conduce of sleep
Early in my careerwhiling working in the sleep center at a local medical college I interviewed a patient with acute onset insomnia. She’d moved into a new apartment and had not unpacked her belongs. The bed was covered with boxes and she slept on the floor. Her sleep improved when we discussed creating an better sleep environment. A good sleep environment feels safe and has the following:
You can improve the quality of your bedroom air by using an air purifier and decorating the room with lots of green leafy plants.
Remove electronic devices, including cell phones from your bedroom. Electromagnetic fields adversely affect sleep quality.
4. Exercise People who exercise sleep better. If bedtime is between 10-11 p.m. exercise before 4:00 p.m. If you haven’t exercised in a while and you are older than 35 years of age talk with your healthcare provider before you start an exercise program
5. Limit bedroom activity to sleep and sex This allows your brain to associate the bedroom with sleep. When you go into your bedroomnatural sleep inducing hormones will be released.
Liu H, Chen G, Pan Y, Chen Z etc (2014). Occupational electromagnetic field exposures associated with sleep quality: a cross-sectional study.