01/11/2014 08:12 am ET Updated Jan 25, 2014

7 Reasons Why You Have Trouble Sleeping

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How Do You Know If It's Insomnia? Latin for “insomnis” or “sleeplessness,” symptoms of insomnia vary from person to person and can be episodic or chronic, lasting from days to weeks to even months, respectively, depending on the severity of the condition. Symptoms include:
  • Having a hard time initiating sleep
  • Struggling to maintain sleep, waking up frequently during the night
  • Waking up too early and being unable to go back to sleep
  • Having nonrestorative or poor quality sleep

However insomnia presents itself, it most often results in fatigue, moodiness, irritability, daytime sleepiness, lack of concentration, poor memory, headaches and even stomach aches.

What’s more, people with chronic insomnia report a less-fulfilling family and social life, marital problems, poor job satisfaction and productivity, as well as increased absenteeism, according to a study by the University of Rochester.

Treatment for insomnia varies depending on the severity of the disorder. Generally, simple lifestyle changes can help prevent difficulty falling asleep:
  • Exercise daily – no later than 30 minutes before bedtime
  • Avoid stimulants, like caffeine, nicotine and certain medications
  • Eat right
  • Adopt a bedtime routine, like reading, that helps you unwind before sleep
  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day
  • Make your bedroom a technology-free zone

Additionally, natural sleep aids, like Valerian, Chamomile or Melatonin, may also help you achieve restful sleep. However, before starting any sleep medication regimen—over-the-counter or prescription—it’s important to talk to your doctor to prevent any possible drug interactions.

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