Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Why have I had a hard time falling asleep recently? "
I am a 19 year old college student. I was fine until about a week and a half ago and since then I have had trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. I do not take any medications. So at first I thought that it was because there was a lot of noise outside or light. The past few nights thought I have closed the curtain and it has been almost completely silent. The only good thing is that I have been able to deal with only getting 4 or 5 hours a sleep a night and still function normal. Should I see a doctor or psychologist for this problem? How about take some medications?
The list of causes of insomnia, or difficulty falling or staying asleep, is long and diverse. In general, it is advised that all people practice good sleep hygiene. This encompasses a set of recommendations to maximize the amount of healthy sleep a person can achieve. Some of these ideas include setting a regular time for going to sleep and getting up in the morning, avoiding shifting your sleep times on weekends, avoiding all caffeine in the afternoon or evenings, avoiding late night meals or snacks, and minimizing the use of television and music in the bedroom prior to sleep. If you are having any issues with stress or feel like your mind is racing when you lie down at night, you should try to find healthy ways of coping with your stressors. If you follow these lifestyle modifications and are still having difficulty staying asleep, you should talk with a primary care physician through your school's health services center. You can come up with a plan of treatment which can include counseling and/or the use of medication to get your sleep pattern back to normal.
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