By Sammy Shahatto, RPh, PharmD

By Sammy Shahatto, RPh, PharmD

Insomnia is a sleep disorder that makes it difficult for people to fall asleep, stay asleep or both. Factors that can impact your sleep routine vary; whether it is from stress, depression, sleep habits, environmental, pain, stimulants and/or physical exercise.

A good night’s sleep is very important for physical and mental wellbeing. It is for this reason that the benefits of getting a good night’s sleep should never be overlooked and getting proper sleep on a regular basis is not just a good idea, it is an essential one. Here are just some of the benefits of a good night’s sleep:

–       Sleep can reduce stress.

–       Sleep can improve your memory.

–       Sleep can put you in a better mood.

Furthermore, it is believed that insufficient sleep may be linked to a higher risk of conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

The first steps in combating insomnia should never be with medications; it should start with good sleep habits and practices. Good sleep habits (sometimes referred to as ‘sleep hygiene’) can help you get a good night’s sleep.

–       Be consistent. Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, including on weekends.

–       Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing, and at a comfortable temperature.

–       Remove electronic devices, such as TVs, computers, and smartphones, from the bedroom.

–       Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime.

–       Get some exercise. Being physically active during the day can help you fall asleep more easily at night.

In many cases, doing these simple adjustments will be enough to assure you get a good night’s sleep. However, for some, these adjustments are not enough. If you require a little extra help to get a night’s sleep, consider trying a natural sleep-promoting supplement, such as melatonin or magnesium glycinate. If natural supplements do not work, then I would recommend speaking to your doctor about prescription medications to help with insomnia.