How to remedy sleep-maintenance insomnia, from Harvard Women’s Health Watch

Insomnia is often thought of as trouble falling asleep. One form of it, called sleep-maintenance insomnia, is difficulty staying asleep, or waking too early and struggling to get back to sleep. Difficulty staying asleep often gives rise to worry over not getting enough sleep, which further interferes with sleep, creating a vicious cycle. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to remedy sleep-maintenance insomnia, reports the July 2010 issue of Harvard Women's Health Watch. Cognitive and behavioral techniques have proven effective in improving sleep. It's especially important to develop habits that promote healthful sleep through a collection of practices called sleep hygiene. Harvard Women's Health Watch offers tips for getting a better night's rest, including these: Watch what you drink. Avoid caffeinated beverages after 1 or 2 p.m.—or altogether, if you're especially sensitive to caffeine. Limit alcohol, and don't drink any within two hours of bedtime. Alcohol interferes with deep sleep and can interfere with breathing.
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