1. Acute insomnia may not require treatment. Mild insomnia often can be prevented or cured by practicing good sleep habits (see below). If your insomnia makes it hard for you to function during the day because you are sleepy and tired, your health care provider may prescribe sleeping pills for a limited time. Rapid onset, short-acting drugs can help you avoid effects such as drowsiness the following day. Avoid using over-the-counter sleeping pills for insomnia, because they may have undesired side effects and tend to lose their effectiveness over time.
2. Treatment for chronic insomnia includes first treating any underlying conditions or health problems that are causing the insomnia. If insomnia continues, your health care provider may suggest behavioral therapy. Behavioral approaches help you to change behaviors that may worsen insomnia and to learn new behaviors to promote sleep. Techniques such as relaxation exercises, sleep restriction therapy, and reconditioning may be useful.
- Avoid or limit caffeine, nicotine 尼古丁 and alcohol. Don’t intake them at all late in the day or in the evening.
- Check all of your medicines taken with your doctor to investigate if they may affect sleep. In order to avoid sleep problems, maybe adjust the dose or change the time taking medicine.
- Create a daily bedtime routine drilling your body and mind the time to wind down. For example – take a warm shower before going to bed, listen to relaxing music, or having a cup of herbal tea.
- If you can’t fall asleep after 20 minutes in bed, get out of bed to do a quiet work.
- If you are overweight, try to reduce it. Being overweight can be linked to sleep problems.
- Keep your bedroom dark, quiet and cool, using a sleep mask and earplugs to help you sleep.
- Perform daily exercise, but don’t do it within 3 or 4 hours of bedtime.
- Use the evening hours for settling down. Refrain from watching TV and using the computer or phone. if they keep you from getting to sleep.
Older adults, especially those living in nursing homes or who are cared for by others, often have ongoing sleep problems. It’s natural for the sleep patterns to change as getting older, but it doesn’t mean that it needs less sleep or that the sleep you do get is enough.
There are things you can do to cope with changing sleep patterns as you get older, such as having familiar evening and night time routines.
If the sleep problem gets worse or lasts for more than 2 weeks, or if the symptoms become more severe or happen frequently, discuss it with your doctor.
Before going to bed;
• Avoid big meals late in the evening. It needs three to four hours for your stormch to digest it.
• Carbohydrates assist trytophan 色氨酸 entering the brain. Take a glass of warm milk, which contains tryptophan, and a cookie, or warm milk with a spoonful of honey.
• Eat a slice of chicken or turkey, or a banana before going to bed. These foods contain tryptophan, an amino acid that’s used to make serotonin 血清素 which is a brain chemical helping you sleep.
• Spices can irritate stomach. Having a lot of sugary food, especially chocolate which contains caffeine, cause you feel jumpy 緊張不安.
• Each day wake up at the same time, no matter how little sleep you have had the night before. On weekends, follow the same schedule allowing your body to adhere to the same pattern all week long. You’ll fall asleep faster.
• Every morning, go for a short walk outdoors. The presence of natural light informs your groggy body it’s time to wake up for the day. With the body clock set by the great outdoors, you’ll sleep better at night.
• Try not to nap during the day, no matter how tired you feel. If you’re napping in daytime only to turn into a wide-eyed zombie at night.
• Once in bed, imagine your feet becoming heavy and numb 麻木. Feel them sinking into the mattress. Then do the same with your calves 小腿, and slowly work your way up your body, letting it all grow heavy and relaxed. This idea is to give yourself go in progressive phases.
• If still unable to sleep after this progressive relaxation exercise, count sheep. The point is to occupy your mind with boring repetition(, and, not to cast aspersions on sheep, there’s nothing more boring or repetitive than counting a herd of them.) Any repetitive counting activity will lull you.
• If you just can’t sleep, don’t lie in bed (worrying about it). That will only make sleep harder to attain. Get up, leave the bedroom, and grab a book or watch TV.