Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Why does it take me so long to fall asleep?"
I am a 24 year self employed female, who lives a very low stress life.For as long as I can remember I have always had issues falling asleep and staying asleep, but it has been getting progressively worse over the last 6 months. I can think of no mental factors that would have an effect on my sleep. When I lay down, I can not slip into sleep mode. It is know taking me approximately two to four hours to fall asleep, which is having a negative impact on life.
Insomnia is an unfortunate complication of life that many people have to deal with. Your case sounds as if it is affecting your life quite a bit. There are many simple steps that you can make that will improve your ability to sleep, however, and your primary care doctor or sleep specialist will be able to meet with you and offer further suggestions as needed or if there are other concerns that you have. First, don't exercise or drink caffeine for several hours prior to sleeping (but do exercise earlier in the day). Next, it is important to not lay in bed for more than 20 minutes without falling asleep. If, after that time, you are still awake, leave your room and read a book or do something similar for a few minutes. Do not eat, watch tv, or do work during that time, as those will all stimulate you to stay awake. Your room should be a place where you sleep, also, so avoid doing other activities, such as work or TV watching, in your bedroom. Sleeping in the following morning after having a hard time falling asleep will also make you more likely to have a hard time sleeping the subsequent evening. Please discuss with your doctor or sleep specialist as needed.
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