Insomnia, Snoring, Sleep Apnea

The world and life of a sleep tech

Posts Tagged ‘valarian root’

Staring at the ceiling

Posted by amykr on January 27, 2009

You have been lying there counting the little holes in your ceiling tiles for days or should I say nights now.  Your tired, irritable and just wish you could sleep.  Insomnia is one of the biggest issues people seek help for.  This is especially true of women.  But few bring this issue to their physician because they do not want medications or they are taking over the counter medications.    


I think that its time we looked at all the choices you have when dealing with insomnia.  I like many of you are a fellow sufferer.  I have spent many a night completing a novel or watching that really bad movie at 1am.


So I thought it might help to discuss options to help deal with the issue.     Of course I am not a physician and my first recommendation is to go visit your primary care to discuss the problem.


The first thing I always try is to look at my sleep hygiene.  Do I have a calm relaxing sleep environment? Is the room dark, the television off, all the pet off the bed and is the room organized?  All these make for a relaxing place to sleep.


Next I look at my sleep routine.  Do I go to bed at the same time? Do I have a specific routine that tells my body its time to get ready to sleep?  This is important as the brain needs these cues to get ready for sleep. 


So you have done all these things and you are still having problem sleeping what choices do you have?  Over the counter medications contain antihistamines that have the side effect of causing sleepiness.  These are good for an occasional problem. 


 The natural products vary greatly.  There is some very interesting research going on with Melatonin as a sleep aide.  It is a hormone your body produces that helps you to sleep.  There is also research going on with Valerian Root but it has not been as successful.  The problem with natural remedies is that they are not regulated and they can interact poorly with other medications you are taking.  You also need to let your doctor know you are taking them before a medical procedure as they can have an effect on your blood and its ability to clot. 


Finally there are prescription medications.  I will save that for another blog.


If you have any questions please do not hesitate to write me. 


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