Characterized by problems falling asleep, staying asleep, early morning awakening or a combination of all of these.
Insomnia is a symptom, not a disease. It can be caused by lots of different things, including physical, mental, and environmental problems. Students are at particular risk for sleep problems as they often have a constantly changing sleep-wake cycle due to classwork, exams, social issues, and environmental factors like noisy roomates!
If you are concerned about sleeping issues you are encouraged to make an appointment to discuss them with a provider (by calling 215.746.3535 or clicking on the menu option above for online scheduling). You can also review the tips below and try making some changes on your own.
- Use your bed primarily for sleeping (or other obvious bed-related activities). Avoid doing schoolwork, watching t.v. or using the computer while in bed.
- Try to go to bed and wake up at approximately the same times. This helps your body's internal clock get sleepy and more awake at the appropriate times.
- Make sure your bed is a comfortable place! If you need to get more mattress or pillow support please do so. This is an easy solution to overlook.
- Do something relaxing in the 30 minutes leading up to bedtime. Television and internet tend to be stimulating activities for your brain so try to avoid them right before bed. Instead try taking a warm shower, reading, listening to music, or some other calming activity.
- Avoid consuming alcohol in the 4 hours before bed and food in the 2 hours before. Alcohol tends to make you sleepy but then actually interferes with deep sleep. Trying to fall asleep on a full stomach isn't ideal either, but if you are awake because you are hungry then try eating a light snack before bed.
- Decrease stress wherever possible! Stress can play a huge role in any and all sleep issues. To further avoid overnight stress it is recommended to turn the clock away from your pillow so that even if you do awaken overnight you don't get too anxious about what time it is!