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Question
Posted by: Daisy | 2010/06/17

Sleepless

Dear Dr

My first cycle of sleeping is 3hrs afterward I am twisting and turning and fall asleep after 1 or 2hrs. Second cycle is for 2-3 hrs of sleep. Sometimes I do wake-up for the second time turning and twisiting.My mom has the same problem for years but she can cope without less sleep not me. It is starting to effect my work.

I use home remedies which contains 40% of alcohol (cant be good) but I get my quality sleep.I tried to skip but it means I dont get the quality sleep. What tablets (temporary or short terms) can I buy without prescription or do I need to consult a sleep doctor which you recommend to most of the people.

Many thanks.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageSleep Expert

You are right - alcohol is not a good idea, and may be making it worse - it does put you to sleep, but it then wakes you about 3 hours later.

Sleeping pills, either prescription or over the counter, tend to be habit-forming, and lose their effectivity within a few weeks.

The pattern of early morning waking, as you describe, is typical of a sleep disorder related to a depression, although that is not the only thing which does it.

Obviously your situation will need to be assessed. If there is an underlying depression, then an antidepressant will help. You could have a condition which disrupts sleep, such as Periodic Limb Movement Disorder. This might need to be tested for in a sleep laboratory. Then specific medications are used to control that. Or you might just have bad sleep habits, in which case correcting what is termed "sleep hygiene" could be the answer.

There are also a number of other possibilities - which is why I think you need to be seen by someone who understands sleep disorders, and which is also why I so often give that advice.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Sleep expert | 2010/06/18

You are right - alcohol is not a good idea, and may be making it worse - it does put you to sleep, but it then wakes you about 3 hours later.

Sleeping pills, either prescription or over the counter, tend to be habit-forming, and lose their effectivity within a few weeks.

The pattern of early morning waking, as you describe, is typical of a sleep disorder related to a depression, although that is not the only thing which does it.

Obviously your situation will need to be assessed. If there is an underlying depression, then an antidepressant will help. You could have a condition which disrupts sleep, such as Periodic Limb Movement Disorder. This might need to be tested for in a sleep laboratory. Then specific medications are used to control that. Or you might just have bad sleep habits, in which case correcting what is termed "sleep hygiene" could be the answer.

There are also a number of other possibilities - which is why I think you need to be seen by someone who understands sleep disorders, and which is also why I so often give that advice.

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