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Cheryl promotes vitamins to help with sleep on Instagram

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Many people will sometimes find it hard to fall asleep or wake up in the night. For most, sleep problems tend to sort themselves out within about a month, allopurinol tablets usp according to the NHS. Nonetheless, if you regularly have problems sleeping, you may be experiencing long term insomnia.

The Sleep Foundation says “you can reliably fall asleep within a matter of minutes” and that one of the keys to smoothly falling asleep is relaxation.

It states that: “Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) creates a calming effect by gradually tightening and releasing muscles throughout the body in conjunction with controlled breathing.”

It says that studies have found that PMR “can help people with insomnia”, and “when done carefully, may be beneficial for people who are bothered by arthritis”.

It works as visualising a peaceful image from your past and all of its details “engages your attention in order to promote relaxation”.

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The organisation states:

  • “With your eyes closed and in a comfortable position, think about a place or experience in your past that feels relaxing, such as a quiet natural setting.
  • While slowly breathing in and out, reflect on the details of this setting and how it looks.
  • Continue focusing on this image by adding details relating to your other senses (smell, sound, taste, touch) and experiencing the calmness of this mental imagery.”

People with insomnia will regularly find it hard to go to sleep, can wake up several times during the night and lie awake at night.

They might also find it difficult to concentrate during the day because they are tired, or wake up early and find they cannot go back to sleep.

If you have insomnia for less than three months, it is called short-term insomnia.

Insomnia that lasts three months or longer is called long-term insomnia.

“Some people are naturally lighter sleepers or take longer to drop off, while some life circumstances might make it more likely for your sleep to be interrupted, like stressful events or having a new baby,” the NHS states.

If poor sleep is affecting your daily life or causing you distress, you can talk to your GP.

As well as the PMR technique, there are several other methods to get a better night’s sleep.

The NHS recommends that you keep regular sleep hours, create a dark, quiet and cool environment and exercise.

The health body adds that some people find it useful to write down their worries and concerns, and set aside time before bed to make a list for the next day, if these stresses keep you awake.

Caffeine and alcohol can stop you falling asleep and prevent good quality sleep. Therefore, it is recommended that people cut down on alcohol and avoid caffeine close to bedtime.

Everyone needs different amounts of sleep. On average adults need seven to nine hours, while children need nine to 13 hours. Toddlers and babies need 12 to 17 hours of sleep, every day.

“You probably do not get enough sleep if you’re constantly tired during the day,” states the NHS website.

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