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Insomnia

Insomnia refers to a difficulty going to sleep or staying asleep, or both. Insomnia has many causes, including anxiety, stress, depression, chronic pain, sleeping cycles out of balance due to working night shifts or excess napping during the day, and a condition called “sleep apnea”. Insomnia can be a side effect from stimulant medicines such as decongestants, asthma inhalers and pills, diet pills, and illegal drugs such as speed, crank, crack, and PCP.

Home Care:

  1. Review your medicines with your doctor or pharmacist to find out if they can cause insomnia.

  2. Caffeine, smoking and alcohol also affect sleep. Limit your daily use and do not use these before bedtime. Alcohol may make you sleepy at first, but as its effects wear off, you may awaken a few hours later and have trouble returning to sleep.

  3. Do not exercise, eat or drink large amounts of liquid within 2 hours of your bedtime.

  4. Improve your sleep habits. Have a fixed bed and wake-up time. Try to keep noise, light and heat in your bedroom at a comfortable level. Try using earplugs or eyeshades if needed. 

  5. Avoid watching TV in bed.

  6. If you do not fall asleep within 30 minutes, try to relax by reading or listening to soft music.

  7. Limit daytime napping to one 30 minute period, early in the day.

  8. Get regular exercise. Find other ways to lessen your stress level.

  9. If a medicine was prescribed to help reset your sleep patterns, take it as directed. Sleeping pills are intended for short-term use, only. If taken for too long, the effect wears off while the risk of physical addiction and psychological dependence increases.

Follow-Up

with your doctor or as directed by our staff if you feel that your insomnia is not responding to the above measures.

Get Prompt Medical Attention

if any of the following occur:

  • Extreme restlessness or irritability

  • Confusion or hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there)

  • Anxiety, depression

  • Several days without sleeping

 

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