Another article that talks about insomnia, and employing good sleep hygiene:
Help For Middle-Of-The-Night Insomnia, The Wall Street Journal, updated 27 June 2016
They define it:
About 30% of American adults have symptoms of some sort of insomnia each year, according to scientific studies. Chronic insomnia is generally defined as having difficulty sleeping at least three times a week for three months or more.
Three times a week for 3 months or more? That has to be more than 30%!
They make suggestions. Good, but typical … Cut back on light, especially blue light from devices. Go to bed the same time every night, if you can. Don’t eat in the middle of the night. (Not said but also helpful: No caffeine or alcohol before bedtime.) Don’t fret if you wake up and can’t get back to sleep. (Ha.) Don’t look at the clock. (Ha. Ha.)
These two points stood out for me and I’m going to try them:
The best thing to do to prevent an occasional bout of middle-of-the-night insomnia from turning into a chronic problem seems simple: “Nothing,” says Dr. Perlis. “Don’t sleep in. Don’t nap. Don’t go to bed early the next day and everything will turn out fine.”
Compensating for sleep loss can fuel chronic insomnia, because it can make it tougher to sleep the next night. It is better to use caffeine to power through the day, Dr. Perlis says.
I’m not inclined to sleep in, but napping and going to bed earlier the next day, if possible, happen. They just happen. Power through the day? OK. I’ll try it.
Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, known as CBT-I, typically includes “sleep restriction,” or limiting the amount of time patients spend in bed when they’re unable to sleep. … In May 2016, the American College of Physicians recommended that CBT-I be used first, before medication, to treat chronic insomnia.
Here, again, is that sleep restriction advice.
The older I get, the more people I know who take pills to sleep. Pills are habit-forming. Pills have side effects. Pills are risky in that they leave you drowsy the next day. According to the FDA, driving is a no-no after a night on pills. Do you think people adhere to that?
Interesting that they choose this photo to go with the article when most people who suffer insomnia are older:
Older adults are more likely to wake up overnight.
What do you do to help you sleep?