Insomnia - sleep habits; Sleep disorder - sleep habits; Problems falling asleep; Sleep hygiene
Sleep patterns are often learned as children. When we repeat these patterns over many years, they become habits.
Insomnia is difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. In many cases, you can relieve insomnia by making a few simple lifestyle changes. But, it may take some time if you have had the same sleep habits for years.
People who have insomnia are often worried about getting enough sleep. The more they try to sleep, the more frustrated and upset they get, and the harder it becomes to sleep.
Remember, the quality of sleep and how rested you feel afterward is as important as how much sleep you get.
Before you go to bed:
During the day:
Stop or cut back on smoking and drinking alcohol. And reduce your caffeine intake.
If you are taking any medicines, diet pills, herbs, or supplements, ask your health care provider about the effects they may have on your sleep.
Find ways to manage stress.
Your bed is for sleeping. Do not do things like eat or work while in bed.
Develop a sleep routine.
Find calming, relaxing activities to do before bedtime.
If you cannot fall asleep within 30 minutes, get up and move to another room. Do a quiet activity until you feel sleepy.
Talk to your provider if:
American Academy of Sleep Medicine website. Sleep education. Insomnia. sleepeducation.org/sleep-disorders/insomnia/. Updated September 2020. Accessed September 15, 2022.
Avidan AY. Sleep and its disorders. In: Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, Pomeroy SL, Newman NJ, eds. Bradley and Daroff's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 101.
Carney CE, Danforth M. Behavioral treatment I: therapeutic approaches and implementation. In: Kryger M, Roth T, Goldstein CA, Dement WC, eds. Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 95.
Vaughn BV, Basner RC. Sleep disorders. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 377.BACK TO TOP
Review Date: 5/12/2022
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
Health Content Provider
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2023 A.D.A.M., a business unit of Ebix, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.