Insomnia

We’ve all experienced the frustration of lying in bed and not being able to sleep. And it’s often the more you try to clear your thoughts and doze off, the worse it gets.

These occasional sleepless nights are common enough. They can be caused by a lot of things - stress, heartburn, drinking too much caffeine and alcohol are just some examples.

Insomnia is when you can’t get enough sleep on a regular basis. What’s the right amount of sleep is different for everyone.

While the average night’s sleep for an adult is around seven or eight hours, some people only need four. Others like up to 10 hours or more.

Not getting enough sleep can affect your energy levels, mood and health. Sleep helps maintain your immune system. Tiredness diminishes your mental alertness and concentration - causing accidents both on the road and at work.

About one in three people will have insomnia sometime in their life. But a lot of these sleeping problems can be helped by making some of the simple lifestyle changes that we’ll tell you about in this brochure.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of insomnia vary a lot. Here are some common signs to look out for:

- Inability to fall asleep or waking often during the night

- Waking up too early

- Decreased problem solving skills

- Lowered mental alertness

- Drowsiness

- Lack of concentration

- Increased anxiety

- Fatigue

- Irritability, anger or nervousness

- Feeling depressed or down

- Waking up not feeling restored, even after a full night’s sleep If symptoms of insomnia are affecting your ability to function normally, make sure you talk to your doctor.