Simple Steps To Beat Insomnia

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Thursday, March 3, 2011 - 11:12am

Getting a good night's sleep may be easier than you think.

Insomnia is a common ailment among adults.

Studies show as many as 30 percent of Americans have trouble sleeping at some point in their lives.

In 2009, pharmacists filled 48-million prescriptions for medications like Ambien and Sonata.

Dr. Vivek Jain, director of the Sleep Disorder Center at George Washington Medical Faculty Associates, says using sleep medication is only a quick fix.

Scientists have found that the brains of some people who suffer from sleep problems have a tough time quieting down at night.

They are extra sensitive to insomnia triggers like stress or even a change in routine.

"What we target in therapy is what perpetuates the insomnia. It could have been a move. It could have been a financial problem," Dr. Jain explains.

Dr. Jain says you can get insomnia under control, but it's not easy and it can take a long time.

It involves tracking all of your sleep habits, as well as your nightly routine.

"For the insomniac, one of the lessons I try to tell them right up front is that we are not going to focus on the hours of sleep."

Patient Kristen Rompf started tracking her sleep habits a few months ago and has made a few changes.

She goes to bed later, avoids reading in bed, and has completely cut out all caffeine.

"I don't feel as tired. I can go to work and feel great and then also do things after work," she says.
 

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