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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    I suffer from Insomnia, please advise.

    I have always been a very light sleeper but never had trouble falling asleep but waken up to 17 times per night. (Been wearing Fitbit tracker for a few years). I am incredibly restless and sleep for under 2 hours at a time and average 4-5 hours a night but broken sleep. I feel fine during the day but I'm sure it's not healthy. I have recently had trouble falling asleep too sometimes up to 2 hours after going to bed.. I also dream lots and remember them. I exercise daily and have a healthy diet.
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  • 6

    Thanks

    Dr Melissa Ree

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    Dr Melissa Ree is an Insomnia and Anxiety specialist. She has worked in both clinical and research roles at private psychiatric hospitals and Universities in … View Profile

    Your sleep does sound restless, and 2 hours is a long time to fall asleep. That you feel fine during the day may indicate that you are in fact getting enough sleep. Fit-bit trackers are not always accurate (they tend to over estimate wakings). However, it does sound like an assessment of your sleep may be helpful so that you know for sure if there is a problem. 

    Difficulty getting to sleep can be a sign of Insomnia and this tends to respond well to Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I). Frequent wakings in the night can also be due to Insomnia but may also be due to other sleep difficulties such as Obstructive Sleep apnea (OSA). Insomnia treatments are delivered by sleep psychologists. For assessment and treatment of OSA you would need to see a sleep physician for an overnight sleep study. 

    Hope this helps, Melissa

  • 1

    Agree

    9

    Thanks

    David Thiu

    Pharmacist

    As a Locum Pharmacist I enjoy to travel Australia Wide to assist various Pharmacies and their community with their health care needs, and primarily work … View Profile

    Sorry to hear about your insomnia. From the limited information provided in this post, my guess is that you think and stress a lot, causing you to have restless sleep.

    This is a common problem with patients I see in Community Pharmacy and in addition to providing an information leaflet on 'Sleep Hygiene' (https://bit.ly/3tH7RqL) I also recommend the following for those that think and stress a lot:

    • Having a diary to write down all your thoughts before you sleep.
    • Doing relaxing activities such as having a bath and listening to music before bed.
    • Meditation and breathing techniques to clear the mind.
    • Avoid screen time before bed whether it be playing on your phone, working on your laptop or watching TV.

    In addition to the above, my guess that as you've had many sleepless nights in your bed, you might now have a negative association with your bed keeping you from falling asleep.

    If this is the case I would recommend you consider changing your sleep environment, and only use your bed for sleep and sex.

    Ideally a holiday trip to an exotic location such as Thailand (preferably in peaceful and quiet location such as Chiang Mai), where you can change your sleep environment, and also get away from all the stress at home might work wonders to your sleep.

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