Sleep... it's important as eating and drinking. We can't function without it, but how many of us are getting enough. If you have a baby, like me, you're definitely not getting enough or maybe you're getting up to pump at night?
Maybe you have a second/third shift schedule? Exercising late at night? Maybe you're a resident Physician and are stuck on a 24 hour shift? Or you have a dog/cat that keep interupting you? Anxiety over sleep? Obstructive Sleep Apnea? Or addicted to your phone or taking a sip of some alcohol before sleep? Hot flashes?
The list is long and the management is wide. One thing for sure is that sleep medication are not the place you resort to first. Exhausted your options, retrain your brain and build good habits!
One of the first things many people jump to when they have sleep concerns is "low Testosterone." This is not the most likely cause especially in a young man without erectile dysfuction. However most of us have lifestyles that are not condusive to good sleep hygiene.
Our bodies love routine and discipline and insomnia is one way of it punishing you for not sticking to your routine.
It's very important to identify some things to gain insight into your sleep and maybe discuss it with your Physician.
*Are you on medicaitons? some of them can cause insomnia. some people are using melatonin and may not relaize that the vivid dreams/nightmares they're having is a side effect of melatonin.
*Anxiety? cognitive behavioral therapy.
Can use online resources such as Sleepio.com.
CBTi coach. (look up Colleen Carney). Has a CBTi lab app for teenagers.
Youtube Michael Sealey for detachment for overthinking is one video you can use.
Some other tips:
No daytime naps, bedroom should be cool/cold (unlike my husband who tries to crank it to 80F degrees :/ that's not condusive to good sleep). Bed is for sleep and intimacy, do not lay there watching t.v. or youtube on your phone.
Sleep when tired, do not linger in bed more than 20min watching the clock, this will only make it worse. Get up in a dim-lit room, maybe read a book and then proceed back to bed when sleepy. Set your alarm at the same time every day and get up even if you did not get your adequate sleep. Snoozing is loosing when it comes to developing good sleep hygiene.
If you're in bed too long but not actually sleeping, then we use sleep restriciton (unless you have bipolar disase---so make sure your medical history is updated with your Physician).
Modafanil/Armodafanil is a prescription to help you stay up if we are using daytime sleep restriction for treatment. Some case studies have shown modafanil to induce mania in bipolar patients so again be transparent about your health history.
You should be recording your sleep in a diary. Once you are sleeping 85% of the time allow increase in sleep until then continue to restrict (a little confusing, should be done w/ help of a Physician).
Books based off Dr. Duren Ready's recommendaiton and lectures on insomnia.
*No More Sleepless Nights
*Quiet Your Mind and Get to Sleep(good for those w/ anxiety & depression)
*The Post-Traumatic Insomnia Workbook
Podcasts: The Huberman Lab
For those with sleep apnea get it treated! It will be the best thing you can do for your body.
As far as Medicaitons are concerned I will leave out the prescription based ones. One point Dr. Ready makes is "simple fixes are rare, if it was simple you would have been fixed."
However here are some over the counter options, check with your Physician if there might be any interactions with your medications.
*magnesium Threonate 400mg daily (2 capsules)
*Apigenin 50mg (chamomile derived)
*Theanine- increases gaba release (relaxation). Can cause nightmares & should not have caffeine w/in six hours of use.
*Tart Cherry Juice twice a day
*Innositol 900mg- good for those eating low carb diets and having difficulty falling asleep. This has been also used for those w/ PCOS and infertility (no data known to me about this).
For Pharmaceuticals they are to be discussed with your Physicians and in my opinion after you have exhausted other options. They are not and should not be your long term solution but if necessary only a supplement while building the above good sleep habits.