Don’t let the mattress bugs chew

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During these troubled times, many of us have difficulty sleeping and accumulate large sleeping debts due to insomnia, says Dr. Miriam Stoppard.

What are the symptoms? Insomnia takes many forms. They lie awake at night, wake up several times during the night, find it difficult to fall asleep, wake up early and cannot get back to sleep, still feel tired after waking up, find it difficult to sleep, find it difficult to concentrate during the day and also feel tired and feeling irritated.

What causes it We think sleep is easy, but it’s not. Many things put us off – noise, alcohol, drugs like cocaine or ecstasy, stress, shift work, anxiety or depression, a room that is too hot or too cold, uncomfortable beds, caffeine or nicotine, and jet lag.

Some tips for a good night’s sleep:

DO: Exercise regularly during the day, relax at least an hour before bed, make sure your mattress, pillows and covers are comfortable, make sure your bedroom is dark and quiet, go to bed and wake up at the same time each time.

NOT: sleep after a bad night, watch TV or use devices before going to bed. Exercise less than four hours before bed or eat a large meal late at night. Take a nap during the day, smoke, or drink alcohol, tea, or coffee less than six hours before bed

Contact your GP if none of the above are effective or if your insomnia is affecting your daily life. Your GP is unlikely to prescribe you sleeping pills, but may refer you for cognitive behavior therapy (CBT).