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5 Tips to prevent insomnia

  1. Keep to a fixed bedtime

  2. Your body will naturally get accustomed to falling asleep and waking up at certain times. So keep these times constant (even on weekends!). Once your body adjusts to a regular rhythm, you will sleep better.

  3. Establish a pre-bedtime ritual

  4. As it gets closer to bedtime, give your body some cues to wind down. You can listen to soothing music, drink a cup of chamomile tea, take a warm bath or read a few chapters of a book.

  5. Keep the bed strictly for sleeping

  6. Refrain from using your bed for brain-stimulating activities like work or even watching television.

  7. Don’t exercise up to four hours before bedtime

  8. Doing so will energise you and keep you awake. So while a regular workout is good for health, it is only advisable to do it in the daytime so it will not interfere with your sleep.

  9. Get out of bed if you can’t sleep for 20 minutes

  10. Instead of tossing and turning in bed, leave the bedroom and engage in some light, relaxing activities until you feel sleepy.

If the insomnia persists, you may have to try other treatments. This includes short-term use of medications, such as sleeping pills. At times, sedating anti-depressants may have to be prescribed.

Chronic insomnia and its​ health implications

Still, people who regularly sleep to​o little can suffer from long-lasting health consequences.

Beyond daytime drowsiness – and nodding off at the wheel – prolonged sleep deprivation can in fact lead to serious health implications.

“In fact, insomnia is closely associated with some medical conditions,” says Specialists from the D​​epartment of Psychiatry​​ at Sing​apore General Hospital​​ (SGH), a member of the ​SingHealth Group.

These conditions include:

  1. Heart disease

  2. Cancer

  3. Neurological disease

  4. Breathing problems

  5. Urinary problems

  6. Chronic pain

  7. Gastrointestinal problems

  8. Poorly controlled high blood pressure

  9. Poorly controlled diabetes

The Department of Psychiatry at SGH provides a comprehensive, integrated, multi-disciplinary service in the assessment and management of patients with psychological and psychiatric disorders, including sleep disorders. Consultation is strictly by appointment only. Referrals are accepted from polyclinics, hospitals, general practitioners, voluntary welfare organisations, schools and colleges and institutions of higher learning. Patients in need of assistance can make a self-referral by calling our Central Appointment at 6321 4377.

See previous page to find out how insomnia affects the mortality rate in men​​​​.

Ref: L20

Check out other sleep-related articles:

9 Tips for a Good Night's Sleep

Sleep Deprivation and Weight Gain: What's the Link?

Insomnia in the Elderly

Snoring vs Sleep Apnea

Stop Snoring with 8 Doctor Recommended Tips