What to Do When You Have Acute Insomnia

Acute insomnia is a type of sleep disorder. It is usually associated with difficulty falling asleep. However, if you have insomnia, you may also suffer from difficulty staying asleep for a normal amount of time. Frequently waking up in the middle of the night may leave you feeling like you have not slept at all. As a result, you may feel fatigued or have trouble concentrating during the day. Those symptoms may worse, if you have multiple sleepless nights in a row.

Acute insomnia is short-term insomnia. It typically lasts for under three weeks. Acute insomnia has many potential causes. For example, you may suffer a lack of sleep due to temporary stress. Traveling frequently can also trigger acute insomnia because your body has difficulty adjusting when you change time zones. That is referred to as jet lag. Unlike chronic insomnia, which may require complicated treatment, acute insomnia is typically easy to deal with yourself. Below is a list of things you can do to get your sleep pattern back on track when you have acute insomnia.

Eliminate Stress to Combat Insomnia Symptoms

The sudden onset of insomnia rarely occurs for no reason. Although several things can trigger it, one of the most common short-term insomnia causes is stress. If yours is the result of stress, reducing or removing the source of the stress may cure your acute insomnia quickly. To do so, determine if the start of your insomnia coincided with a stressful event. Possible stressful events that can cause sleeplessness include:

  • Death in your family.
  • Family
  • Loss of your job or change in job shift or status.
  • Looming work deadlines or upcoming presentations.
  • Changes in your personal status, such as marriage, divorce or pregnancy.

Some of those situations are temporary. When they resolve themselves, your ability to sleep may return naturally. Others, such as the loss of a job, may have more long-lasting effects. However, you can eliminate some of the stress they cause. One way to do so is by using yoga or meditation to calm yourself down before you go to sleep. Any other activity you find relaxing, such as reading a book, can also help you reduce stress before bed and act as a sleep aid. You can also exercise during the day to reduce stress. Exercising improves your mood and makes you tired.

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Your Diet Can Be One of the Causes of Insomnia

The foods and beverages you consume can have profound impacts on your ability to sleep. Caffeine is one substance you must definitely avoid when you are experiencing acute insomnia. Never eat or drink caffeine-laden foods and beverages within a few hours of your intended bedtime. When eliminating caffeine from your nighttime routine, remember it is found in many foods. If you are unsure if your favorite bedtime snacks have caffeine, check their food labels.

Another substance to avoid before bed is alcohol. Alcohol does have the ability to help you fall asleep. However, it makes staying asleep more difficult. A better alternative is milk. Milk has been one of the most popular home remedies for insomnia for many years, and there is a scientific reason. The tryptophan in milk helps your body make more serotonin. Serotonin is a natural sleep aid.

If you smoke, the nicotine you consume may also contribute to your acute insomnia. It is a stimulant similar to caffeine. Acute insomnia is a temporary condition, so the long-term process of quitting smoking is not feasible insomnia cure. However, quitting smoking may help prevent relapses of your acute insomnia in the future. If you do not quit smoking, at least quit smoking within a few hours of when you intend to go to bed, if possible. Doing so minimizes the influence of the nicotine during sleep.

Make Your Bedroom a Relaxing Haven to Fight Acute Insomnia

One of the biggest sleep distractions you can have is a bedroom that is not conducive to allowing sleep. For example, if your bedroom is also your home office, staring at the pile of work you have to do the next day is stressful. An ideal bedroom exists only for the purposes of intimacy and sleep. Keeping a television or other distractions in your bedroom may encourage you to stay up all night. The following actions can help you ward off insomnia symptoms:

  • Keep the bedroom clean so you are not stressed by clutter.
  • Wear a mask and ear plugs when you sleep.
  • Remove clocks, watches and cell phones from view so you are not tempted to check the time.
  • Make sure the bedroom is a comfortable temperature.

Another aspect of making your bedroom a relaxing haven is restricting the time you spend tossing and turning in it. It is important to give yourself enough time to fall asleep. However, If you know you are wide awake, do not waste your time. Leave the room and do something else until you feel tired. Staying in your bed wide awake only causes you to resent your bed and associate it with sleeplessness. When you have those feelings, you may automatically expect nightly insomnia and convince yourself you cannot sleep in your bed.

Take Sleeping Medication as a Last Resort

Behavioral changes or waiting for your acute insomnia to pass may allow you to get back to a normal sleep schedule. However, if you are still unable to sleep for several nights, temporarily taking insomnia medication may get you back on your desired sleep schedule. There are many over the counter sleeping pills from which you can pick. Most of them contain antihistamines, and some also contain pain relievers. However, they can cause multiple side effects, including:

  • Blurry
  • Nausea.
  • Irregular
  • Additional symptoms caused by interactions with other medications or alcohol.

Most experts recommend taking prescription sleeping medication under the supervision of your doctor, if you want to relieve insomnia with medication. Prescription medications are typically more effective than over-the-counter or natural sleeping pills. One of the most common prescription medications for insomnia is a melatonin booster. Melatonin is a hormone your brain uses to control your sleep schedule. Melatonin levels are typically highest at night before sleep. Taking a melatonin for sleep to increase those levels may help you induce and maintain sleep.

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