Insomnia: causes & management


E.C | Pharmacist

12/25/20222 min read

Are you constantly waking up at night, having trouble to go to sleep, being restless through the night, and having constant thoughts and worries? This article shows you why, and how you can manage these symptoms.

woman covering her face with blanket
woman covering her face with blanket

Insomnia is a very common sleeping disorder affecting a lot of people in this modern world. It is associated with difficulties falling asleep, waking up at night several times, waking up too early and then having trouble falling asleep, feeling tired after waking up, feeling irritated and tired throughout the day and having trouble to take naps during day even though feeling fatigued. [1]

Which are the causes?

  • feeling stressed, anxious or depressed

  • not setting up the right temperature of the room

  • discomfort of the bed

  • having large meals right before going to bed

  • drinking caffeine, alcohol, using certain drugs just before bed

  • jet lag or shift work

How can you manage insomnia?

  • Set up the right brightness and temperature of the room

    In order to sleep comfortably, choosing the right lightning colour is very important. If you are a person who doesn't like sleeping in dark room, then choosing a lighting source to create a natural sleeping environment is crucial. The best light colour to aid sleeping is red to amber. The temperature of the room also plays an important role to help sleeping. Too hot or too cold room causes trouble sleeping, that's why is important to set up the right temperature (16C - 19C) for your room.

  • Using natural herbal sleeping remedies

    Trying herbal sleeping remedies can be another solution to aid sleeping. Valerian or lavender are some common herbs which can aid sleeping. Please ask your pharmacist or read the PIL before use to make sure there are no contraindications or any interactions with any medicines you are using.

  • Using sleeping tablets you can buy in pharmacy

    Some sleeping tablets which are a class of very drowsy antihistamines licensed as sleeping aids can be another solution if herbal remedies are not an option or have't worked. Some examples are diphenhydramine tablets (Nytol UK), or promethazine (Sominex UK). Please consult a pharmacist or read the patient information leaflet before use to make sure it is safe to use.

  • Using supplements such as magnesium or glycine to help sleep

    Supplements such as magnesium or glycine can help to sleep better if used regularly. Magnesium is also a muscle relaxant which helps to induce sleep. [2] Glycine is a type of amino acid which plays the role of neurotransmitter in nervous system and it helps to regulate the body temperature which then improves sleep quality.[3]

  • Avoid taking large meals before bed and using certain substances

    Taking larger meals before bed can cause discomfort sleeping due to bloating and indigestion problems. Because your body is still digesting food, when laying down to sleep can cause heartburn and nausea. Moreover, suing certain substance such as caffeine or alcohol just before bed can affect your sleep negatively. That's why is not recommended to have any of these at least 6 hours before going to sleep.

  • Keeping technology devices away from bed

    Using technology devices such as your phone or laptop just before bed can cause disruptions to your sleep. This is because of the light which interferes to your circadian rhythm. It is best to avoid using your devices a few hours before you go to sleep and keeping them distantly from you bed.