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Symptom Checker

Step 4: Read and complete the decision guide to learn more about your symptoms.


You have identified a recent increase in your emotional stress as a possible source of your insomnia. Since your stress has been severe enough to interfere with your sleep, it is appropriate to discuss your symptoms with your doctor. Your sleep is likely to improve as you identify ways to reduce your stress or manage your stress more effectively. In addition to addressing your mental health needs, you should consider these strategies to improve your sleep

  • Avoid alcohol and smoking, especially in the evening.

  • Seek training in relaxation or "biofeedback" techniques, such as tightening and relaxing each of your muscles in a planned order.

  • Avoid going to bed hungry.

  • Avoid daytime naps, and sleep only as much as you require.

  • Maintain a regular bedtime.

  • Establish an active daytime lifestyle that allows you to go to bed ready for rest. It is preferable that you complete any vigorous exercise four or five hours prior to your bedtime.

  • Reduce the mental stimulation that you experience after you have put yourself to bed. This means discontinuing bedtime television, reading, and conversation.

  • Reduce noise stimulation within your bedroom. This may require the use of a device that can drown out interesting noises with a monotonous sound, such as a fan or a radio that is tuned to static between stations.

Most people who are reacting to emotional stress do not require medications to assist with sleep and find relaxation techniques or therapy sessions to assist in stress management most helpful. If your sleep problems do not respond quickly to simple strategies to improve your sleep, you may obtain relief from a doctor's prescription for a sleep aid to use for a short term (typically less than two weeks). Over-the-counter sleep treatments can cause symptoms that persist into daytime hours and are not recommended.

Click here for more information on insomnia.


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Disclaimer: This content should not be considered complete and should not be used in place of a call or visit to a health professional. Use of this content is subject to specific Terms of Use & Medical Disclaimers.