Any . Any patient who has insomnia must pay attention to their sleep hygiene. You must avoid alcohol and sedatives after 6 pm, leave bed for sex and sleep only and no tv in bed. If you can't fall asleep in bed don't stay in bed just find something else to do and come back to bed when u are a little sleepy. This will train your brain that bed is not for worrying/watching tv etc and will improve sleep. If all this does not work then you can consider other alternatives. Since melatonin is a natural supplement thus should be the first step. Sleep aids have high risk of dependance and should be tried on as needed basis only.
The . The first two doctors that you responded to your question did an excellent job. I agree that you should look at your sleep habits and see if there is room for improvement before you reach for a sleep aide. If you have good sleep hygiene, you might find that your sleep issues resolve and that you no longer need to consider taking a medication or a supplement to help you sleep. These are the things that i suggest to my patients. 1. Maintain a regular bedtime and awakening time schedule including weekends. Get up about the same time every day, regardless of what time you fell asleep. 2. Establish a regular, relaxing bedtime routine. Relaxing rituals prior to bedtime many include a warm bath or shower, aroma therapy, reading, or listening to soothing music. 3. Sleep in a room that is dark, quiet, comfortable, and cool; sleep on comfortable mattress and pillows. 4. Use your bedroom only for sleep and sex. Have work materials, computers, and tvs in another room. 5. Finish eating at least 2-3 hours prior to your regular bedtime. 6. Avoid caffeine within 6 hours; alcohol & smoking within 2 hours of bedtime. 7. Exercise regularly; finish a few hours before bedtime. 8. Avoid naps. 9. Go to bed only when sleepy. Lay in bed only for sleeping, not for work or watching tv. 10. Designate another time to write down problems & possible solutions in the late afternoon or early evening, not close to bedtime. 11. After 10-15 minutes of not being able to get to sleep, go to another room to read or watch tv until sleepy.
I . I agree with dr butt that good habits are the best medicine. Light also has a great effect on our internal clock. Exposure to bright light as soon as one gets up in the morning helps set the brain's clock to go to sleep in the evening. In the evening the brain's natural sleep promoting hormone melatonin is released as long as light is dim. It is a good idea then to avoid bright light exposure in the evening, even from large tv or computer screens. If one is having a major insomnia problem despite a good trial of habit modification, consider seeing a sleep medicine specialist. If the diagnosis is chronic insomnia, then referral to a psychologist who practices cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia is a good idea.