I just turned 44 last month, my kids are older now and I have more time for myself but find it hard to do anything other than go to work and come home to sleep.
I get 7-8 hours of sleep on average but tend to wake up a couple of times during the night and find it hard to go back to sleep.
I then wake up tired and drowsy. What can I do to get out of this funk? I need my energy back, please help!
We are tackling reader’s questions at Healthgist and since we get a variant of this question on a daily basis in the clinic, it made sense to do a write-up on it.
Life is busy and if your body is not getting the downtime that sleep provides, you could literally blow a gasket.
As you explore ways of getting your “groove” back, try answering these questions to help you or your doctor arrive at the right solution for you.
Is your insomnia causing you grief? Pick up Your Complete Guide to Better Sleep and rid yourself of your sleep worries.
1. Do you snore or stop breathing during sleep?
Talk to household members as you would not be able to tell otherwise. If the you do, look into getting a sleep study done.
You could have sleep apnea; a medical condition where you stop breathing multiple times during sleep and your body wakes you up each time to keep you alive. You in turn don’t get any sleep!
2. Do you exercise?
If yes, keep it up. If no, start exercising, your sleep would be better for it. Exercise could be stimulatory so try to exercise earlier in the day or at least 3 hours before bedtime.
3. Do you look forward to going to work?
If no, could you be suffering from a burn-out? Try taking a vacation or a leave of absence if at all possible and see if your outlook and energy level improve when you come back.
4. Are you consuming stimulants like caffeine or tea (include Red Bull and Monster drinks in the list) late in the day?
If yes, you might want to limit your caffeine or tea consumption to earlier in the day so they don’t get in the way of sleep.
5. Could you be peri-menopausal?
Absence of a menstrual period for 12 months in a woman in her forties or fifties (and pregnancy has been ruled out) signifies menopause.
Up until that time, there would be wild fluctuations of the estrogen hormone level. That time is known as the peri-menopausal period. The hot flashes that come with “going through the change” also causes sleep irregularities.
Your doctor will likely order blood tests checking your blood count and your thyroid hormone levels.
Be sure to limit your consumption of alcohol because while alcohol may help you sleep on the short term , it would get in the way of a full night’s sleep in the long run.
Before you “ask your doctor if Lunesta is right for you”, try out any one of these over-the-counter sleep aids first;
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