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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Insomnia is a condition that makes it hard to fall or stay asleep. Lack of sleep can lead to attention or memory problems during the day. You may also be moody, depressed, clumsy, or have headaches.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- Your symptoms do not get better, or they get worse.
- You begin to use drugs or alcohol to fall asleep.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
- Medicines may help you sleep more regularly or help you feel less anxious.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
What you can do to improve your sleep:
- Create a sleep schedule. This will help you form a sleep routine. Keep a record of your sleep patterns, and any sleeping problems you have. Bring the record to follow-up visits with healthcare providers.
- Do not take naps. Naps could make it hard for you to fall asleep at bedtime.
- Keep your bedroom cool, quiet, and dark. Turn on white noise, such as a fan, to help you relax. Do not use your bed for any activity that will keep you awake. Do not read, exercise, eat, or watch TV in your bedroom.
- Get up if you do not fall asleep within 20 minutes. Move to another room and do something relaxing until you become sleepy.
- Limit caffeine, alcohol, and food to earlier in the day. Only drink caffeine in the morning. Do not drink alcohol within 6 hours of bedtime. Do not eat a heavy meal right before you go to bed.
- Exercise regularly. Daily exercise may help you sleep better. Do not exercise within 4 hours of bedtime.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
Your healthcare provider may refer you for cognitive behavioral therapy. A behavioral therapist may help you find ways to relax, decrease stress, and improve sleep. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.