Insomnia is a difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep for long enough to feel refreshed the next morning. Insomnia is a very common problem. It affects around one in every three people in the UK, and it is especially common among older people.
Insomnia can take many forms. NHS Inform highlights some of the signs of a sleep problem as:
Not everyone needs the same amount of sleep. However, if you constantly feel tired during the day, it may be because you are not getting enough sleep.
The things that affect our sleep are different for everyone. The charity, Mind, explains that insomnia can be caused by:
According to NHS Inform, going through the menopause can also cause sleep problems among older women.
Occasional episodes of insomnia may come and go without causing any serious problems, but for some people insomnia can last for months or even years.
Sleep is the foundation that the rest of your mental and physical health is built on. Long-term insomnia can have a significant impact on your quality of life. It can limit what you’re able to do during the day, affect your mood, and lead to relationship problems with friends, family and colleagues.
Research studies have shown that slowing the breath can be very effective in sending you into a more relaxing, peaceful state which can help you towards sleep. There are several breathing techniques that you can try – and several of these are described in the links below. Try these two and see if either one works for you.
If problems with sleep are worrying you or affecting your life, and if you’ve tried a range of self-help techniques and nothing has worked, see your GP to get a health check. Your doctor will be able to help you access support and treatment.