If you have been tossing and turning and wondering if you will ever fall asleep, you are not alone. Over the course of a year, up to one fifth of adults haveinsomnia, or trouble sleeping. Insomnia is more common in older people. Learn why sleep is so important and what you can do to better yours.
The body repairs and restores itself during sleep. The immune and nervous systems cannot work well without enough sleep. Lack of sleep can lead to:
Changes in your daily routine may help you sleep better at night. These include:
Once you are home for the night, these steps may help you wind down and get ready for sleep:
If your doctor has suggested you take medicine for sleep, take it as directed. Sleep medicine should only be used for a short time and as a last resort. Most are taken within an hour of bedtime and should only be used when you are able to get a full night of sleep.
If you do not want to take medicine to help you sleep, light therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy may help.
Sometimes insomnia may cause or be caused by other health problems. Talk to your doctor about getting the right treatment so you can get a better night's sleep.
National Institute on Aging
National Sleep Foundation
Better Sleep Council Canada
Canadian Sleep Society
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Healthy sleep tips. National Sleep Foundation website. Available at: https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-tools-tips/healthy-sleep-tips. Accessed November 16, 2020.
Insomnia in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114839/Insomnia-in-adults. Accessed November 16, 2020.
Insomnia fact sheet. Women's Health—US Department of Health and Human Services website. Available at: http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/insomnia.html. Accessed November 16, 2020.
Melatonin. EBSCO Natural and Alternative Treatments website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/biomedical-libraries/natural-alternative-treatments. Accessed November 16, 2020.
Last reviewed January 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Last Updated: 1/29/2021