Don’t let the bed bugs bite

Don’t let the bed bugs bite

In these troubled times, many of us are having difficulty sleeping and are storing up large sleep debts of insomnia, says Dr Miriam Stoppard.

What are the symptoms? Insomnia takes many forms. You lie awake at night, wake up several times during the night, find it hard to go to sleep, wake up early and can’t go back to sleep, still feel tired after waking up, find it hard to nap, find it difficult to concentrate during the day, and feel tired and irritable too.

What causes it? We think of sleep as easy but it isn’t. Many things put us off – noise, alcohol, recreational drugs like cocaine or ecstasy, stress, shift work, anxiety or depression, a room that’s too hot or cold, uncomfortable beds, caffeine or nicotine and jet lag.

Some tips for a good night’s sleep:

DO: Exercise regularly during the day, relax for at least one hour before going to bed, make sure your mattress, pillows and covers are comfortable, make sure your bedroom is dark and quiet, go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.

DON’T: Sleep in after a bad night’s sleep watch television or use devices before going to bed exercise less than four hours before going to bed or eat a big meal late at night; nap during the day, smoke or drink alcohol, tea or coffee less than six hours before going to bed

See your GP if none of the above measures work or your insomnia is affecting your daily life. Your GP probably won’t prescribe sleeping pills but might refer you for cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

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