Sunday, October 19, 2014

Health Tip: Can't Sleep?

Risk factors for insomnia

(HealthDay News) -- Most everyone has occasional trouble falling asleep and sleeping through the night. But certain things can worsen the problem.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute mentions these risk factors for insomnia:
  • Being under heavy stress.
  • Being depressed or going through an emotionally troubling experience, such as a divorce or death of a loved one.
  • Working unusual shifts that change frequently.
  • Traveling across time zones.
  • Getting insufficient exercise.
  • Treatment: If you are experiencing difficulty sleeping, consider whether an event or particular stress could be the cause. If so, the problem may resolve in time. If not, and the problem persists for a few weeks or more, or if you experience distress and discomfort as a result of the insomnia, talk to your doctor about your symptoms. Bring with you a record of your sleep, fatigue levels throughout the day, and any other symptoms you might be having.
    There are a number of approaches to treating insomnia. A health care professional will ask about your sleep experience, your sleep schedule, and your daily routine. A thorough medical history and physical examination may be called for.
    Because of the close connection between behavior and insomnia, behavioral therapy is often part of any treatment for insomnia. This is because people with insomnia may begin to associate certain sleep-related stimuli with being awake. For example, bedtime routines or the bedroom itself may become linked with anxiety for a person who is experiencing insomnia because they dread the thought of another sleepless night. A combination of several behavioral treatments is typically the most effective approach.
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