Family Pharmacy

Nervous system

I cannot sleep! What should I do? (Insomnia)

Family Pharmacy

Sleep is a basic and physiological vital need for the proper functioning of our body. It is essential to keep our physical, cognitive, and emotional health in balance.  

The truth is that society does not value sleep as it should. In general, we sleep little and badly.  Did you know that, according to the WHO, approximately 40% of the world population suffers from sleep disorders? It is a scary number.

If you think your sleep is not repairing enough, you often wake up tired, you struggle to fall asleep, you wake up several times in the middle of the night or lie awake for hours, then this article is for you.

We will help you achieve quality sleep.

Suffering from insomnia
Suffering from insomnia

What is insomnia?

It is defined as a sleep disorder that is characterized by difficulty in falling asleep (initial insomnia), frequent awakenings during the night (sleep-maintenance insomnia) or early awakenings at dawn, without being able to fall asleep again (terminal insomnia).

What are the causes?

Insomnia can be primary (psychophysiological, physical, or mental disorders are not a cause of insomnia) or secondary (caused by stress, anxiety, sleep apnoea, depression, fibromyalgia, medications, substance abuse, among others).

Consequences of insomnia
Consequences of insomnia

Consequences of insomnia

  • Tiredness, fatigue, drowsiness;
  • Irritability, anxiety;
  • Affected memory, attention, reasoning, and reaction capacity;
  • Decreased productivity;
  • Weakened immune system;
  • Increased risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

After all, how many hours should we sleep?

Sleeping hours
Sleeping hours

Sleep hygiene
(recommendations for a good sleep):

  • Regular sleep schedule (helps to set our internal clock, improving sleep quality);
  • Establish sleep rituals (with relaxing activities such as reading, practicing yoga, listening to music, taking a hot bath, drinking a hot drink);
  • Create a comfortable environment in the place where you will sleep (noiseless, with comfortable temperature and dark, a good mattress and an anatomical cushion);
  • Practise physical exercise (avoid doing it 4 hours before going to bed);
  • Have a healthy diet (try to have dinner at least 2 hours before going to bed and avoid abundant meals; however, you should also not go to bed feeling hungry);
  • Avoid stimulants (avoid drinks with caffeine and tobacco at least 4-6 hours before bedtime because they will interfere with your ability to fall asleep);
  • Avoid alcohol (do not drink alcoholic beverages 4-6 h before going to bed because it increases the number of nocturnal awakenings);
  • Do not drink too many fluids before bedtime (otherwise, you will wake up for frequent trips to the bathroom);
  • Turn off electronic equipment at least 1 h before going to sleep (the light emitted by mobile phones, tablets, TVs, and computers disturbs the state of relaxation and drowsiness);
  • Avoid prolonged naps;
  • If you do not fall asleep within the first half hour, get up and try to do some relaxing activity, such as reading or listening to music; lie down when you feel sleepy.

Adopt good sleep habits
Adopt good sleep habits


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