Is a lack of sleep messing with your mojo? You’re not alone. Thirty percent of adults claim to have trouble sleeping, says London Drugs Pharmacy Manager Gianni Del Negro. And up to 10 percent of those are experiencing problems during the day because of their sleep difficulties.
Understanding Your Sleep Problem and its Cause
Understanding how and where your sleep is going awry is the first step to finding a solution.
Sleep problems come mainly in three different categories:
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to get back to sleep
- Inability to get into a deep, restorative sleep
There are many reasons you could be experiencing sleep problems, says Del Negro, including medical conditions such as sleep apnea or asthma, pain resulting from certain conditions, stress or depression, or even medications you’re taking.
Poor sleep is often a result of poor sleep habits, particularly the use of electronics too close to bedtime, or too much caffeine, nicotine or alcohol late in the day.
While a few nights of bad sleep might not hurt too much, prolonged poor sleep can have severe consequences, including a weakened immune system, obesity and risk of accidents at work or on the road.
Help for Better Sleep
The first step is to ensure you maintain a regular sleep routine, which means waking up at the same time and going to bed at the same time every day. Yes, even on weekends and holidays.
Other lifestyle habits such as regular exercise and winding down a couple of hours before bed can also help in the sleep department.
While Del Negro says it’s always best to try non-medicinal ways of promoting sleep, if nothing is working, pharmaceuticals can help you get some much-needed rest.
One category of short-term sleep aids you can try is Diphenhydramine, which is an antihistamine that causes drowsiness. You’ll find it in products such as Benadryl, Sleep-eze and NyQuil.
Melatonin is another product you can try for better sleep. It’s most effective for resetting your body clock in the event of jet lag or shift work.
Finally, valerian root is an herbal supplement that can promote faster and better quality sleep. But be aware that it can have some side effects and may not be safe to take with other medications. Please consult your doctor before taking it.
If you’ve tried all of these remedies and you still can’t sleep, come speak to a pharmacist at your local London Drugs. We can help!