Try These Insomnia Solutions Instead of a Pill
On the rare night when you actually crawl into bed at a decent hour, you stare at the ceiling, eyes wide open, mind racing, with a good night’s sleep feeling more like a distant dream with every passing second.
You’re not alone. According to the National Sleep Foundation, a third of all American adults report experiencing one insomnia symptom a night. And about 10 percent of people suffer from chronic insomnia, which means they find it difficult to get enough shut-eye at least three nights a week, for at least three months.
Although some medications and health issues such as depression and hyperthyroidism can cause insomnia, a person’s anxiety, stress, diet, and age are also factors.
If you experience frequent insomnia, you’ve probably already tried the basics, like cutting back on caffeine and alcohol. Maybe you’ve also turned to the medications, luxury mattresses and pillows, white-noise machines, and other remedies that make up the $41 billion Americans spent on sleep aids and remedies in 2015, according to a report from BCC Research. But you might be wary, understandably, of relying on drugs.
Sleep medications, which are most useful for short-term sleeplessness, do require some caution, because they can result in hangovers the next day, or, even worse, lead you to eat, amble about, and even drive while asleep, with no memory of having eaten, ambled about, or driven. The FDA suggests that if you take Ambien, in particular, and at certain dosages, you shouldn’t drive the next day, or take part in other activities that necessitate your being completely awake, because the drug can remain in your system at levels that may affect your functioning.