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Ask a Therapist: I can’t sleep, I've been tossing and turning every night. What can I do?

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I understand, many people experience insomnia and sleep troubles. In fact, for close to 40% of Canadians, sleep-related problems such as insomnia are a regular occurrence. There can be many factors preventing us from achieving a restful night’s sleep. Many don’t understand how and why insomnia can affect them – and what they can do about it.

There are a few tips you can use to keep healthy sleep habits and improve your ability to get a good night’s rest. For example: keep a consistent sleep schedule; stay regularly active, skip daytime naps, pay attention to your caffeine, alcohol or nicotine intake close to bedtime; create a successful bedtime routine; reserve your bed for sleep and most importantly, don’t worry about it.

You probably noticed that the harder you try, the more elusive sleep becomes, the more anxious you become about sleep, and so on. Watching the clock and doing mental calculations in the night are counterproductive for sleep. So are dire predictions about how changes to your sleep will affect your daytime functioning, or your future in general.

If you're ready to get started with therapy, our insomnia Therapist Guided Program can help. Visit us here to complete your assessment. 

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Stronger Minds content is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice, and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to establish a standard of care with a reader, you should always seek the advice of your mental health professional, physician or other qualified health provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical or mental health condition. If you think you may have a medical or mental health emergency, call your doctor, go to the nearest hospital emergency department, or call emergency services immediately. You should never disregard or delay seeking medical advice relating to treatment or standard of care because of information contained herein. Medical information changes constantly. Therefore the information herein should not be considered current, complete or exhaustive, nor should you rely on such information to recommend a course of treatment for you or any other individual. Reliance on any information provided herein is solely at your own risk.