Sleeplessness & other Sleeping Disorders

Sleep is needed for the body to perform and function at its greatest capacity. The amount of sleep needed is different for every individual. There are many sleep disorders, however the most common in insomnia. The inability to sleep or to sleep satisfactorily is characteristic of those who suffer from insomnia.

Forms of insomnia:

  • Difficulty falling asleep.
  • Difficulty staying asleep.
  • Early wakening.

Common causes of insomnia:

  • Stress, depression, anxiety.
  • Frequent urination.
  • Leg cramps.
  • Too much caffeine.
  • Breathing problems.
  • Changes in work shifts.
  • Pain from medical problems, such as arthritis.

Here are some ways that you can help yourself sleep better:

  • Cut back on items that contain caffeine (coffee and soda), especially in the evening.
  • Avoid alcoholic drinks late in the evening.
  • Exercise regularly, but not close to bed time.
  • Don't use the bedroom for other activities such as work or watching TV.
  • If you are unable to sleep within half an hour, get up and do something else until you feel sleepy.
  • Take a warm bath an hour or two before bedtime.
  • Avoid long, late afternoon naps, if they interfere with sleeping.
  • Avoid eating large meals just before going to bed.
  • Keep your bedroom quiet and dark. A firm, comfortable mattress is also important for a good night's sleep

Most doctors believe that sleeping pills should be avoided whenever possible. If lifestyle changes do not help with your insomnia, you may wish to seek help from your health care provider or counselor. Sleep disturbances may be a sign that you are suffering from something such as depression. If you are concerned about these issues, please call Student Health Services for more information.

Resource Links:

v Health World Online, Medical Self-Care. Insomnia. (
v College Women in the Know. Sleep. (
v (


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