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Vancouver, WA
A 52-year-old female asked:

Insomnia i have had insomnia for 11 years now, my problem is staying sleep. i have no problem falling asleep within a few minutes, but i only get 3 to 4 hrs a night for the past 11 years, don't ask me how i have survived for so long on so little sleep, bu

4 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mary Engrav
Dr. Mary Engravanswered
Emergency Medicine 33 years experience
Try : Try not using your computer or any electronic devices within one hour of bedtime. Do not drink fluids within two hours of bedtime. Eat lightly during the day then eat a larger meal about three hours before bed. Do not drink alcohol within 3 hours of bedtime. Keep a fan on for white noise. Exercise during the day but not within an hour of bedtime. Keep your room temperature very cool, about 64 degrees, and use a thick comforter. If these don't work, please see your doctor as there are many newer medications that can help the sleep cycle.
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Dr. David Chrisman
Dentistry - Cosmetic 35 years experience
Sleep study: Insomnia is related to sleep disordered breathing you need to be getting 7-8 hrs of sleep for good heath. I would recommend seeing a sleep specialist to find out what is happening that you can't keep asleep. If you always are waking at the same time it may be you are at a critical amount of time in rem sleep where sleep apnea is most prominent. Go to dr steven y. Parks site for insomnia info.
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Dr. Su Fairchild
Integrative Medicine 26 years experience
Test: You may have a cortisol problem that can affect your sleep. Check 24 hr salivary cortisol panel. Look up genocept test by genomind. This checks genetics on several things including mthfr and comt, which regulate how neurotransmitters are made and broken down, and can affect sleep. Also consider rule out neurological lyme.
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Dr. Robert Kassoff
Clinical Psychology 39 years experience
IF it hasn't been done yet, it also seems that a sleep study should be done to determine what is happening prior to awakening. A thorough review of your diet, including when your are consuming the foods/drinks is also in order.
May 6, 2013
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry 44 years experience
Another possibility: Along with excellent suggestions for sleep hygiene, sleep studies, and checking for cortisol disruption and other aberrations, you might want to work with an integrative physician who knows how to use adaptogen herbs. I'm guessing you've already seen psychiatrists about possible depression (another cause for early awakening)? Adaptogens can boost resilience to chronic stress & normalize sleep.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.

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Last updated Oct 3, 2016
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