Learn how to prevent insomnia from sleep specialist Priyanka Yadav, D.O. in this Howcast video.
So, the best way to prevent insomnia is to practice good sleep hygiene. Keeping a strict sleep schedule throughout the seven nights out of the week is very helpful in setting your circadian rhythm and your sleep schedule. Keeping a dark, cool environment will help you fall asleep a little bit easier because your body temperature normally drops when you’re sleeping. Taking a warm bath at night might also help you drop your body temperature, so it will help with sleep onset. Avoidance of electronics will also help you with melatonin secretion because light is a deactivating factor for melatonin. If you’re using the computer or you’re watching TV, you become engaged in what you’re doing and that will cause you to become stimulated, which makes it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Now, you do want to talk to your physician about taking better care of whatever medical disorders or mental health disorders that you may have. You want to take better care of your diabetes or benign prostate hypertrophy because these will increase urination at night and will fragment your sleep because you have to keep waking up to use the bathroom. Taking better control of any pain that you may have with pain syndromes, such as arthritis, will also help you get better sleep at night so you don’t wake up with that uncomfortable pain at night.
Now, mental disorders, such as anxiety or depression can also cause insomnia at night. When you’re having anxiety or depression, you’re in a state of hyper-arousal, or in a state of fight or flight, meaning you’re constantly worried and you react to little stressors. That puts you at risk for insomnia because you keep worrying about the amount of sleep that you’re getting or the lack of sleep that you’re having. When you worry too much about the sleep that you’re getting, you cannot fall asleep or stay asleep.
On the other hand, you do want to talk to your physician about any medications that you may be taking. A lot of medications have the side effect of insomnia, so your medication list should be reviewed by your physician to see if they can be replaced, or discontinued to help with better sleep at night.
So, there are many ways to prevent insomnia, but not all of them are so obvious. So, it is best to talk to your physician about any medications or medical or mental health disorders that may be affecting your sleep at night.