Up to one in three people experiences transient insomnia and one in 10 suffers from chronic insomnia. People with transient insomnia tend to experience at least one night of difficulty falling asleep, which resolves within the week.
On the other hand, chronic insomnia sets in if it lasts for longer than three months.
A study conducted in 2007 found that almost half of the patients who visited a sleep clinic in Singapore had primary insomnia, which is difficulty sleeping for no apparent reason, while a quarter suffered from insomnia secondary to anxiety disorders, with a tenth afflicted with insomnia as a result of depression.
Insomnia is also associated with a higher rate of heart disease, hypertension and diabetes, and has been linked to the development of dementia in later life.
Here are some adjustments to make in order to sleep better:
• Sleeping environment: It should be conducive for rest. A dark, quiet and uncluttered room, comfortable bedding and a comfortable temperature will help her sleep better.
• Stimulating substances and activities: Avoid them near bedtime. Exercise four hours before bedtime is discouraged as the adrenaline rush will keep her awake.
• Caffeinated drinks: They should not be consumed near bedtime as caffeine can remain in the bloodstream for up to 12 hours.
• Alcohol: Although it may cause drowsiness, it interferes with the normal sleep process, causing frequent interruptions and poor sleep quality.
• Sleeping and waking: Do this at the same time every day, even on weekends. Consistency is key when trying to alter your sleep patterns.
• Set the tone: A warm shower, light reading and calming soft music can help one get a good night’s sleep.
• Avoid daytime naps: Keep yourself preoccupied with tasks, even small, menial ones, as it will keep you from dozing off during the day.
Diet also plays an important part in helping to regulate your sleep cycle.