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TIPS TO COMBAT INSOMNIA
Due to the increasingly hectic lifestyles that many of us choose to adopt, insomnia is becoming more of a problem for many patients. We are stressed by school, work, relationships and a myriad of other factors.
All these invariably affect our quality of sleep. With insufficient sleep, our ability to function at our best is compromised. We become irritable, we find it difficult to focus and concentrate, we can't think straight, our judgment is sub-optimal, we drive dangerously etc.
Try the following to help with insomnia:
• Ensure that your bedroom is an inviting place for sleep. Keep it clean and free of clutter and unnecessary distractions.
• Avoid caffeine-containing products, such as coffee, tea and colas, at night
• Avoid alcohol at night. Alcohol may help you fall asleep in the short term, but you are likely to wake up in the middle of the night, and be unable to fall back to sleep.
• Try to have a fixed bed-time and schedule a pre-sleep routine (lasting about half an hour) to relax and unwind.
• Pre-sleep activities could include: listening to music, meditation, reading something relaxing (avoid exciting fiction books). Activities to avoid: watching TV, reading exciting novels, rushing to finish work.
• These pre-sleep activities (other than intercourse) should ideally not take place in bed.
• Go to bed only when you start feeling sleepy.
• Use your bed only for sleep and sex. By doing so, you help “re-condition” yourself to associate your bed with sleep.
• If you find yourself unable to sleep, say after half an hour, avoid tossing and turning. Get out of bed and return to your pre-sleep routine out of bed. Get back into bed only once you start feeling sleepy again.
• Try to establish a regular sleep-wake cycle by sleeping and waking up at about the same time everyday, even on weekends. Your body will learn to adjust to this cycle and will eventually cue you to feel sleepy, and wake you up at a given time each day.
• Try to add some exercise into your day. However, you should avoid exercise at night.
• Avoid heavy meals too close to bed time.
Find a Psychiatrist
Dr Thong Jiunn Yew, Nobel Psychological Wellness Clinic
The article above is meant to provide general information and does not replace a doctor's consultation.
Please see your doctor for professional advice.