Sleeping pills might not be the answer

Sometimes insomnia can get so frustrating that people seek out medication to help them fall and stay asleep. However, while sleep medicines might provide a quick-fix, it’s possible that they are just covering up other issues.

Before seeking out sleep medicines, ask yourself the following questions. If you can address these issues, sleep medicines might end up not being necessary.

  • Are you more stressed lately? If stress is your problem, medicine may help you get to sleep but it won’t help you stay asleep. If you take steps to fix the situation that has you feeling anxious, you are far more likely to fall asleep on your own.
  • Do you feel like you need alcohol to fall asleep? Many people think alcohol will guarantee them a good night’s sleep. While they may fall asleep quickly, they will suffer a backlash in their second sleep cycle, during which they experience wakefulness and restlessness. Try going a week without drinking alcohol before bed and see if that helps.
  • Have you washed your pillows lately? As a pillow gets older it becomes heavy with dust mites and dead skin cells. Breathing these in can affect your quality of sleep. You may even be allergic to dust mites, in which case you will sleep better if you replace your pillows more frequently.
  • Have you flipped your mattress in the last year? Your body may not be supported by your mattress the way it used to be, leading to discomfort in the night and affecting your sleep. Flipping your mattress (or replacing it if it’s old) will increase your sleep quality.