ZocdocAnswersWhy am I having trouble sleeping?

Question

Why am I having trouble sleeping?

I'm a thrity-six year old stay at home Mother of three and have been having a lot of touble falling asleep at night for the last six months. I am finding I don't even feel tired and when I do finally make myself go to bed it's normally around 1:00AM and I lay awake sometimes for 3 or 4 hours before I can find sleep. I'm really becoming upset with this situation and would love to find a solution to help me fall asleep and rest peacefully. I'm not on any medications and wake up around 8 or 9 in the morning.

Answer

Having trouble sleeping is a very common complaint we hear from patients. In your case, it sounds like you are having trouble initiating sleep, rather than staying asleep. People that have trouble initiating sleep can undertake a few measures to help the situation. First, make sure that you are not drinking any caffeinated beverages after noon. This stuff can hang out in your body making it more difficult to fall asleep. Get rid of any clocks in your room because these can be distracting when you are trying to fall asleep. Some patients report that taking a hot shower, or drinking a warm decaffeinated beverage helps. Finally, depression can manifest as trouble initiating sleep. If this is the case, then you will need treated for this before the sleep problems will go away. Medications that can help with sleep that I use include Trazodone and Zolpidem. These are great medicines that will help you, once other causes of insomnia are ruled out. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician (family doctor or internal medicine doctor). He or she can listen to your sleep problems and perform a thorough physical exam. If you have already performed the above mentioned strategies and are still having trouble getting to sleep, then you can try a medication. Good luck.

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