5 Things to Try for Chronic or Frequent Sleeping Problems

You lie in bed, turn off the light, shut your eyes, and let your mind slowly drift and drift until…you suddenly start feeling an overwhelming sense of anxiety as the world’s problems topple on top of you and before you know it, it’s three in the morning and you can’t turn your brain off. If this sounds like you, you may be suffering from chronic, frequent, or even occasional insomnia. Here are some easy tricks to try during the day to ensure a restful sleep.

#1: Avoid Caffeine Entirely

Just say no to coffee, tea, soda, chocolate, and energy drinks until you can figure out what’s causing your insomnia. Not everyone is affected by caffeine in the same way, but its stimulating properties generally make people feel more mentally alert, which is the opposite of what you want to feel before bedtime. If you absolutely need your caffeine fix in the morning, switch to green tea to get the kick of caffeine but the benefits of the tea.

#2: Change Your Bed Sheets

Ask any bedding expert and they’ll tell you that silk sheets are the best bedding fabric for your body because they regulate temperature and feel pleasant to touch. If your bed sheets are made of thick cotton or flannel, your body is probably getting too hot, which is preventing you from falling asleep. And if you’re sleeping next to someone at night, silk sheets can help offset the heat from the other side of the bed.

#3: Change Your Mattress

It’s not entirely impossible that the only thing affecting your quality of sleep is the fact that your mattress is simply no longer comfortable. Have you flipped your mattress more times than you can remember? If the springs have formed a perfectly shaped imprint of your body, chances are you should invest in a new mattress. Sleeping on an ill-formed mattress can cause sleeplessness, but also back and neck pain. If this sounds familiar, you might want to start mattress shopping.

#4: Unwind Before Bedtime

If you’re the type of person that doesn’t stop moving until your head hits the pillow, it’s possible that your brain and body still need time to relax and unwind before bed. Unless we’re in a mood for sleep, we’ll have to fight that much harder at bedtime. Assess your activities two hours before bedtime. Are you wearing comfortable clothes? Do you still have your shoes on? Are you about to sit down and watch a fast-paced thriller? Are you staring at your phone or computer right before you turn out the light? If you’re doing one or all of these things, try putting the electronics away at least an hour before bed and slowly prepare for the night by changing out of your work clothes and avoiding stimulating activities.

#5: Speak to Your Doctor

If you’ve tried everything to help you sleep and you still can’t stop tossing and turning in your bed, your insomnia may be triggered by something that’s not easily remedied. At this point, you might want to speak to your doctor. They will be able to better assess your habits and explore possible triggers or causes for your sleeplessness. Stress, depression, anxiety, hyperthyroidism, and neurological disorders can all cause insomnia.

Only a visit to your doctor can help you determine the root of your sleeping problem. Your doctor may prescribe you sleep aids, such as Lunesta, Rozerem, or Ambien, but as many of these medications can cause dependency, they may suggest over-the-counter remedies first, like melatonin or antihistamines. If there are underlying causes for your insomnia, such as depression or anxiety, your doctor may prescribe antidepressants that can also help treat sleeplessness, such as Desyrel.

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