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Sleep Aids Are Not The Best Option For Insomniacs



* Exercise regularly - about 30 minutes most days of the week - at least a few hours before bedtime.

* Do something relaxing before bed.

* Make sure the sleep environment is cool and dark.

* If you don't feel sleepy within 15-20 minutes, get out of bed and do something until you do.

* Turn the alarm clock around so you won't constantly be looking at it.

* Avoid nicotine, alcohol, caffeine and large meals several hours before bed.

* Avoid naps of 30 minutes or more because they upset the normal sleep rhythm.

* Bring your list of medications to a pharmacist to see if they are causing the insomnia.

She said if these steps don't work, the next thing to try is over-the-counter sleep aids containing substances like diphenhydramine or doxylamine. These are generally safe to take for about two weeks and are not habit-forming, Newton says.

She says the newer sleep medications may be appropriate for those suffering from chronic, long-term insomnia that affects their daily job performance or interactions with friends and family.

"The real cure for beating insomnia is to find out what is causing it in the first place," Newton says. "But these newer medications can help a person get the sleep they need until the real cause of the problem is found."

Source: Newswise
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