Monday, 20 August 2018

Insomnia means you regularly have problems sleeping

It usually gets better by changing your sleeping habits.

Check if you have insomnia
You have insomnia if you regularly:

find it hard to go to sleep
wake up several times during the night
lie awake at night
wake up early and can't go back to sleep
still feel tired after waking up
find it hard to nap during the day even though you're tired
feel tired and irritable during the day
find it difficult to concentrate during the day because you're tired
You can have these symptoms for months, sometimes years.

How much sleep you need
Everyone needs different amounts of sleep. On average we need:

adults – 7 to 9 hours
children – 9 to 13 hours
toddlers and babies – 12 to 17 hours
You probably don't get enough sleep if you're constantly tired during the day.

What causes insomnia
The most common causes are:

stress, anxiety or depression
noise
a room that's too hot or cold
uncomfortable beds
alcohol, caffeine or nicotine
recreational drugs like cocaine or ecstasy
jet lag
shift work
Illnesses and other things that can cause insomnia
How you can treat insomnia yourself
Insomnia usually gets better by changing your sleeping habits.

Do
go to bed and wake up at the same time every day – only go to bed when you feel tired
relax at least 1 hour before bed – for example, take a bath or read a book
make sure your bedroom is dark and quiet – use thick curtains, blinds, an eye mask or ear plugs
exercise regularly during the day
make sure your mattress, pillows and covers are comfortable
Don't
smoke, or drink alcohol, tea or coffee at least 6 hours before going to bed
eat a big meal late at night
exercise at least 4 hours before bed
watch television or use devices right before going to bed – the bright light makes you more awake
nap during the day
drive when you feel sleepy
sleep in after a bad night's sleep – stick to your regular sleeping hours instead
How a pharmacist can help with insomnia
You can get sleeping aids from a pharmacy. However, they won't get rid of your insomnia and they have many side effects.

Sleeping aids can often make you drowsy the next day. You might find it hard to get things done.

You shouldn't drive the day after taking them.

See a GP if:
changing your sleeping habits hasn't worked
you've had trouble sleeping for months
your insomnia is affecting your daily life in a way that makes it hard for you to cope
Treatment from a GP
Your GP will try to find out what's causing your insomnia so you get the right treatment.

Sometimes you will be referred to a therapist for cognitive behavioural therapy. This can help you change the thoughts and behaviours that keep you from sleeping.

GPs now rarely prescribe sleeping pills to treat insomnia. Sleeping pills can have serious side effects and you can become dependent on them.

Sleeping pills are only prescribed for a few days, or weeks at the most, if:

your insomnia is very badIntensive care units (ICUs) are specialist hospital wards that provide treatment and monitoring for people who are very ill.

They're staffed with specially-trained healthcare professionals and contain sophisticated monitoring equipment.

Picture of a patient in an ICU
ICUs are also sometimes called critical care units (CCUs) or intensive therapy units (ITUs).

When intensive care is needed
Intensive care is needed if someone is seriously ill and requires intensive treatment and close monitoring, or if they're having surgery and intensive care can help them recover.

Most people on an ICU have problems with one or more organs. For example, they may be unable to breathe on their own.

There are many different conditions and situations that can mean someone needs intensive care. Some common reasons include:

a serious accident – such as a road accident, a severe head injury, a serious fall or severe burns
a serious short-term condition – such as a heart attack or a stroke
a serious infection – such as sepsis (blood poisoning) or severe pneumonia
major surgery – this can either be a planned part of your recovery, or an emergency measure if there are complications
What intensive care involves
Patients on an ICU will be looked after closely by a team of ICU staff and will be connected to equipment by a number of tubes, wires and cables. There will normally be one nurse for every one or two patients.

This equipment is used to monitor their health and support their bodily functions until they recover.

Equipment that may be used on an ICU includes:

a ventilator – a machine that helps with breathing; a tube is placed in the mouth, nose, or through a small cut in the throat (tracheostomy)
monitoring equipment – used to measure important bodily functions, such as heart rate, blood pressure and the level of oxygen in the blood
IV lines and pumps – tubes inserted into a vein (intravenously) to provide fluids, nutrition and medication
feeding tubes – tubes placed in the nose, through a small cut made in the tummy, or into a vein if a person is unable to eat normally
drains and catheters – drains are tubes used to remove any build-up of blood or fluid from the body; catheters are thin tubes inserted into the bladder to drain urine
Someone in an ICU will often be on painkilling medication and medication that makes them drowsy (sedatives). This is because some of the equipment used can be uncomfortable.

Visiting an ICU
An ICU can often be an overwhelming place, both for the patient and their loved ones. It can therefore help to know a little about what to expect.

Visiting hours – visiting hours are usually very flexible, but there may be times when visiting isn't advised so it's a good idea to check before you arrive. The number of people allowed around the person's bed may be limited.
Hygiene rules – to reduce the risk of spreading infection, you'll be asked to clean your hands when entering and leaving the unit and you may not be able to bring in certain things such as flowers. Avoid visiting if you're ill.
How patients may look and behave – the person you're visiting may be drowsy and seem confused. They may also appear slightly swollen or have injuries such as bruises or wounds. This can be upsetting to see, but staff will ensure they're as comfortable as possible.
ICU equipment – a series of tubes, wires and cables will be attached to the patient, which may look alarming at first. Ask staff to explain what these are if you'd like to know.
Unfamiliar sounds – you may hear alarms and bleeps from the equipment. These help staff to monitor their patients.
You'll usually be free to touch, comfort and talk to the person. It may help them to hear and recognise familiar voices, even if they don't appear to respond.

You might want to tell them about your day, or read them a book or newspaper. You can bring in things to make them more comfortable, but ask staff beforehand if there's anything you shouldn't bring.

The ICU staff will be on hand during your visit to answer any questions you have.

Recovering from intensive care
Once a person no longer needs intensive care, they can be transferred to a different ward to continue their recovery before eventually going home.

Some people may leave the ICU after a few days. Others may need to stay in the ICU for months, or may deteriorate there.

Many people who leave an ICU will make a good recovery. But sometimes there can be lingering problems, such as:

weakness and stiffness
fatigue (extreme tiredness) and a lack of energy
loss of appetite and weight loss
sleep problems
depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
problems with mental abilities – for example, not being able to think clearly, and being forgetful
These problems can last several months. Get medical advice if they are a persistent issue for you or a loved one. Some people may require ongoing support and treatment (rehabilitation) to help them recover.

Making decisions about care
If your loved one has been admitted to an ICU and is awake and able to communicate, they'll be fully involved in decisions about their care.

But if they're unconscious or sedated, they may not be able to give their consent (permission) for a particular treatment or procedure.

If they knew they were going into intensive care, they may have nominated someone to make decisions about treatment on their behalf (called a "designated decision maker") or made an advance decision about any treatments they don't want to have.

If this wasn't possible in an emergency situation, the ICU staff treating them will usually decide what they feel is in their best interests. They will talk things over with you and/or the person's family whenever possible.
other treatments haven't worked

No comments:

Post a Comment