• 2 months ago

    Potential Insomnia

    My name is Josh, I am 14 years old and I think I have insomnia. For many months now I have been struggling to get to sleep but in the past week or so, it seems to have gotten a lot worse. I go to bed at around 10pm on a school night. However, I fall asleep at around 3am or sometimes even later! No matter how hard I try I just can't get to sleep until the early hours, meaning I only get around 4 hours of sleep. Some days, I stay awake all night! My girlfriend suggested that I take sleeping pills. I want to know, is this a good suggestion and if not, what can I do instead to help me get to sleep?

Responses

  • 2 months ago

    RE: Potential Insomnia

    Hi Josh,

    Most people go through times of sleeplessness for a variety of reasons. Usually the problem resolves on its own and normal sleep returns. But if this has been worrying you for many months now, then a checkup with your doctor is probably a good idea. This will allow you to either treat or rule out the possibility of an underlying medical basis for your insomnia.

    But don't be surprised if you have none. Most people don't. Most insomnia is caused by some combination of bad sleep habits and excessive worry about the idea of sleeping. If that's the case with you, then sleeping pills won't help. They may force you to sleep unnaturally -- and all of these sleeping pills have side effects, some of which are severe -- but they will leave the true root of the problem unaddressed.

    You might try some basic CBT sleep training methods. These include keeping a consistent sleep schedule 7 days a week, especially important is a consistent wake time. Avoid napping or sleeping in, as these will in effect steal sleep from you at night. Also avoid caffeine in any form (including colas) after about mid-day. Be sure to get some good exercise most every day. Basically, tire yourself out every day, and you will tend to naturally sleep better at night.

    Good luck and keep us posted on how you're doing.