Up to 45% of adults sleep inadequately most nights, a frustrating and draining condition known as insomnia. Developing good habits around bedtime can help to re-establish a good sleeping pattern.
- Try to take half an hour to wind down in the evening and only go to bed when you are ready for sleep.
- Establish a routine where you are active through the day and go to sleep and wake at the same times each day.
- Make your bedroom dark, quiet, cool and comfy.
- Remove stimulants and turn devices off an hour before bed.
- Avoid caffeine, smoking and alcohol in the evening, rather try chamomile tea or milky drinks.
If sleep still alludes you, breathing exercises, meditation and counselling may be useful. Your Pharmacist can also offer you medicines including drowsy antihistamines, herbal supplements and now slow release Melatonin tablets. Melatonin is a hormone that occurs in our body to regulate our sleep-wake cycle. Naturally, our Melatonin levels increase after sunset, peak from 2-4am and then decrease to sunrise to help us to sleep overnight and wake refreshed. The slow release tablets, Circadin, mimic this pattern to re-establish our natural rhythm.
Ciracadin has been available on prescription for some time but is now available from your Pharmacist after a consultation. It can be provided to adults over 55 years for short term treatment of insomnia that is not caused by other medical conditions. As it is a slow release tablet, it must be swallowed whole and taken 1-2 hours before bed. It is best to avoid alcohol and other medicines for sleep while taking Circadin. It is usually well tolerated and doesn’t seem to cause daytime drowsiness, dependence, withdrawal effects or rebound insomnia, however if drowsiness does occur, it is important to avoid driving or operating machinery. If you are affected by insomnia, speak to your Pharmacist or Doctor about what treatment will suit you best.