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5 Ways You Give Yourself Insomnia

March 04, 2016 at 12:52 PM

By Scott Geisler, MD, Physicians' Clinic of Iowa Sleep Medicine Specialist

Lying awake at night is no fun. It’s an experience shared nightly by nearly 3 million Americans. But, did you know that you might be inadvertently causing your symptoms?

Insomnia is a persistent disorder that can make it hard to fall asleep, hard to stay asleep or both, despite the opportunity for adequate sleep. Those with insomnia often take 30 minutes or more to fall asleep and may get only six or fewer hours of sleep for three or more nights a week.

But, how could I be causing my own symptoms? Today’s stressful yet sedentary lifestyles are not conductive to good sleep. Below are the top 5 ways you might be creating or making your insomnia worse:

  1. Stress, anxiety, defeating thoughts and worry.
     
  2. Ignoring or not managing the physical responses to stress and anxiety.
     
  3. Poor sleep hygiene, including use of electronic devices just before bedtime or in bed, poor daytime habits (eating poorly, sedentary lifestyle, not taking time to exercise).
     
  4. Using pills to sleep and caffeine to stay awake.
     
  5. REPEAT

>>Watch as another of PCI's Sleep Medicine Specialists, Dr. Robert Struthers, also discusses insomnia >>

Clearly, lifestyle changes can help some forms of insomnia. However, if you make an effort to stop some of your self-defeating sleep practices and you are still having issues, it's time to talk to a doctor. 

>>See a list of PCI"s Sleep Medicine Specialists>>

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