Insomnia occurs more often in women than in men. Pregnancy and hormonal shifts can disturb sleep. Other hormonal changes, such as premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or menopause, can also can affect sleep. Insomnia becomes more common over the age of 60. Older people may be less likely to sleep soundly because of bodily changes related to aging. Also because they may have medical conditions or take medications that disturb sleep.
Sleep is as important to your health as a healthy diet and regular physical activity. Whatever your reason for sleep loss, insomnia can affect you both mentally and physically. People with insomnia report a lower quality of life compared with people who are sleeping well.
Make sure your bedroom is conducive to sleep. Ideally, you will want to create a clutter-free, dark, quiet, slightly cool space to sleep. Research also shows that reserving your bed just for sleep can also help bring on slumber. In contrast, a too warm room, the light of electronic devices, and a messy space can all inhibit sleep.
Additionally, if possible, keep the TV, computer, and work desk out of your room. Ideally, your bedroom is just for sleep, so that when you enter the room, your mind and body associate it with rest, rather than work, entertainment, socializing, and/or chores, any of which can bring unwelcome worries at bedtime.
If you are experiencing something particularly challenging that is impacting your sleep and general well being, seek help from your doctor and/or counselor. There are always more ways to address your insomnia and help you get the rest you need. Be kind and patient with yourself. Insomnia is not your fault and cannot simply be willed away.
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