Insomnia is a condition characterized by an inability to sleep.  This can be either difficulty in falling asleep or a tendency to wake up during the might and then find it impossible to get back to sleep. The need for sleep varies between persons, but most of us need 7 – 8 hours sleep every 24 hours if we want to be at our best.  Insomnia can have many causes.


Lifestyle habits like these can cause insomnia or aggravate it:

  • Irregular sleep patterns like going to bed at different times each night
  • Daytime napping
  • Poor sleeping environment, such as too much noise or light
  • Irregular work patterns or night shifts
  • Lack of exercise and a sedentary lifestyle
  • Use of electronics such as a computer or smartphone in bed


Medications and drugs can also affect sleep:

  • Alcohol or other recreational drugs
  • Heavy smoking
  • Caffeine, especially late in the day
  • Some cold medications and diet pills


Mental and physical health issues are often implicated in chronic insomnia:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depression
  • Physical pain
  • Stress



A common sense approach to insomnia is to take a sleep hygiene approach first.  Make sure your sleeping environment is conducive to good sleep and your lifestyle behaviours are adjusted to encourage healthy sleeping patterns.  Most sleep medications, particularly sleeping pills like Ambien and Zopiclone should be avoided or regarded as a last resort since they are extremely powerful medications with significant side-effects and the possibility  addiction. One exception is Melatonin.  this is a substance produced naturally by the body that is important for good sleep.  As we age we produce less and less melatonin, so melatonin supplementation for seniors may be recommended.  Circadin is a time-release brand of melatonin of especial interest to peopl over fifty.

Click here to find our more about Circadin,  time-released melatonin.