Don’t be afraid of your bed !

I am so good at sleeping that I can do it with my eyes closed! (Anonymous)

While it is that simple for some people, up to a third of us have had trouble sleeping at some point with about 10% being chronic sufferers who may need GP referral to specialist care.  Sleep requirements vary. Giraffes sleep for 20 minutes a day while little brown bats hang upside down in slumber for 19 hours! Most of us, though, need an average of 7 to 8 hours.

Lack of good quality sleep has a major impact on health, affecting physical, mental and emotional well-being as well as relationships.

It is important to understand that insomnia itself is not an illness but a symptom of underlying issue(s). Causes may be “medical” eg, pain (physical and/or emotional), restless legs, untreated sleep apnoea, some medical conditions, stress (including the stress of stressing about sleep!), depression, some mediations or it may be lifestyle or behavioural such as poor sleep habits, shift work, eating or drinking late. Sometimes, it is a combination of a few factors.

Sleeping tablets may be helpful in some instances (acute insomnia lasting 2-3 days) but they are intended for intermittent or short term use, may cause lingering drowsiness in the morning and can be habit-forming. 

Herbal remedies and acupuncture are a gentler approach and can be useful for some – they work by relaxing your body, generally have minimal side effects and almost no addiction potential. 

Crucially, the underlying cause(s) for insomnia must be addressed and for this, consider speaking to a health professional.  Whatever your approach may be, it is definitely beneficial to include good sleep hygiene as part of the management process. is a great website with plenty of information, including simple but useful suggestions for good sleep habits.  Our pharmacy Facebook page has also got a few useful, easy- to-follow tips.

So, as they say on the Lion King, Hakuna Matata (don’t worry) and let your mind ease into a restful, blissful sleep!

Quote of the day: I want to be like a caterpillar. Eat a lot, sleep a while and wake up beautiful! (Anonymous)    

Don't be afraid of your bed!

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