Roadmap for dealing with insomnia

There are different kinds, causes, and manifestations of insomnia.  If you know or strongly suspect the cause, you may be able to take steps to remedy it, or your body may adjust and the insomnia may be transient.

These are some steps for dealing with insomnia (with the caveat this was not prepared by a doctor.)

Problem – Takes too long to fall asleep after going to bed.  Feel fine during day.  No daytime sleepiness.

SolutionYou don’t have a problem.  You don’t need as much sleep as you allow time in bed for.  Go to bed later or get up earlier.

 

Problem – Wake up too early in the morning.  Feel fine during day.  No daytime sleepiness.

SolutionYou don’t have a problem.  Most people would love to be in your position.  You don’t need as much sleep as you allow time in bed for.  Go to bed later or get up earlier.

 

Problem – Wake up for a half hour or more in the middle of night. Wide awake during this time.  Feel fine during day.  No daytime sleepiness.

Solution – The easiest thing to do it to accept this pattern as your sleep routine.  You are not alone.  Many adults have a biphasic sleep pattern.  Get out of bed during this period and do something.

 

Problem – Need a drink or two before bed to get to sleep.  Without a drink, lie in bed for a long time before falling asleep.

Solution – You might have a problem if you "need" that alcohol.  Try without it for a few weeks.  It might take that long for your body to adjust.  See our fixes for insomnia.  Do NOT simultaneously take sleeping pills (even over-the-counter ones) and alcohol without consulting your doctor.

 

Problem – Frequent short awakenings during the night.  Sleepy during part or all of the day.

Solution – You have sleep maintenance insomnia.  See our fixes for insomnia.

 

Problem – Wake up wheezing or short of breath fairly often.

Solution – consult a doctor ASAP.  Sleep-disordered breathing requires intervention and you need professional medical help.

 

Problem – Take a very long time to get to sleep at night.  Drowsy during the day.

Solution – You have sleep onset insomnia.  See our fixes for insomnia.

Roadmap in PDF format and chart

 

 

Questions and Answers about Sleep Issues and Part 2

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