Insomnia is a condition where the sufferer regularly experiences difficulty falling or staying asleep.
Insomniacs will often feel tired after waking up and can be irritable from lack of sleep. It is also difficult for sufferers to concentrate on tasks due to exhaustion and drowsiness. Insomnia is typically experienced for up to four weeks, however, long-term (or persistent) insomnia, can last much, much longer.
Some people function well and are not tired throughout the day with just 3-4 hours of sleep a night. However, the average adult needs between 7 to 9 hours to be well rested and healthy. Those who suffer from insomnia will regularly get less than their normal amount of sleep.
There is no ‘cure’ for insomnia. The best method is to alter daily habits and stick to a daily schedule. Try going to bed at the same time every night and getting up at the same time every day. This will help your body to recognise that it is time to sleep every evening and you should get into a routine. In the same way, avoid sleeping in too late to make up for a lack of sleep and avoid napping during the day, as this will throw your schedule off, meaning you’re less likely to sleep on time.
Medication is available over the counter from your local pharmacy to treat short-term insomnia. Your pharmacist can advise you on appropriate treatment. Some people use sleeping tablets to help them deal with insomnia. This can work temporarily, but they lose effectiveness the more often you taken them as your body becomes dependant on them, so it is best not to rely on them. They can also cause side effects such as drowsiness the next day, affecting concentration and performance at work. It is best not to drive, or operate machinery, the day after taking a sleeping tablet.
If you are worried or would like advice about insomnia you can speak to a licensed Online Doctor today with The GP Service. With appointments within 30 minutes, you can get expert help or prescriptions the same day!