Poor sleeping conditions such as those found on planes can interfere with anyone’s sleep. But sleep onset insomniacs may find them particularly challenging, accustomed as we are to not falling asleep very quickly and being bothered by things that other sleepers readily tune out.
Why is it so hard for some insomniacs to fall asleep and what can help? Following are six ways to hold sleep onset insomnia at bay.
What does falling asleep feel like? Good sleepers may never bother with the question. One minute they’re conscious and the next minute they’re out. But if you have chronic insomnia, falling asleep (or back to sleep) can feel like a tiresome slog.
Insomnia sufferers may actually lose touch with the feeling of falling asleep. So Sleep Technologist Michael Schwartz created a smartphone app to put people back in touch and increase their confidence and ease in falling asleep.
Supplementary melatonin is the fourth most popular natural product used by adults in the United States and the second most popular given to children.
But supplements like melatonin are not subject to the same quality controls as prescription medications. A new study of melatonin sold over-the-counter shows that information on the label often does not reflect the content of the product.
“If you weigh too much, maybe you should try sleeping more.”
This commentary in the journal Sleep caught my eye. Flip as it sounds to a person who would sleep more if she could, it points to a relationship between sleep and body weight that should be widely publicized.
Sleep can also affect your ability to keep weight off. As for the relationship between insomnia and body weight, the latest news is surprising. Read on for details:
Paradoxical insomnia: a diagnosis given to people whose sleep studies show they sleep a normal amount but who perceive they sleep much, much less. When I wrote about it in 2015, the word was that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)—the gold standard in treatments for insomnia—might not be an effective treatment for it.
But a brief testimonial that recently appeared in American Family Physician argues otherwise. Here’s an update on this puzzling sleep disorder.
Occasionally I get emails from people with take-charge, type A personalities wondering what to do about insomnia. Full of self-reliance, they’ve often scoured the internet for remedies—and tried every one—or amassed a mountain of books about sleep—and read them all—to little avail. Can I suggest anything that might help?
Here is Geri’s story (abbreviated to save space) and my response.
I love coffee and I’m always glad to hear coffee is beneficial to my health. Two new studies—one of humans and the other of mice—add to this growing body of knowledge.
Yet coffee contains caffeine, and people with insomnia are often advised to cut down on caffeine because it interferes with sleep. Is there a middle course the sleepless can steer to avoid the harms and reap the benefits?
I talk quite a bit about dementia and Alzheimer’s disease with family and friends. Our parents are drifting into cognitive impairment, asking the same questions again and again and struggling to find words to express themselves, and we wonder if we’re destined for the same fate.
The concern may be justified in middle-aged adults with chronically poor sleep, according to new research on sleep and two proteins involved in Alzheimer’s disease. Here’s more about the study and its relevance to people with insomnia and other sleep disorders.