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Coping With Sleep Disorders: A Survival Guide

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Sleep disorders are a varied set of disorders that affect the sleep-wake cycle of millions of Americans. While insomnia is the most common sleep disorder, there are many more sleep disorders that can be helped by the tips below.

Keep a Sleep Diary

A sleep diary is a great way to become more aware of your habits and how they affect your sleep-wake cycle. This diary will include parts of your day that could have an impact on your sleep schedule, such as exercise, diet, emotions, and any stimulants you may be consuming.

While many who suffer from insomnia and other sleep disorders may find caffeine stimulates them, this isn't true for all sufferers. This is one reason why a sleep diary is so important—everyone is so individual in how they're impacted by different things. What is a stimulant for some may be soothing for others, such as evening exercise. Your sleep diary will help you determine your stimulants, as well as your relaxants, so you can better manage your sleep schedule.

Know Your Limits and Be Firm

If you suffer from a sleep disorder, you may be working on finding out your most common triggers. Or maybe you already know them and now need to work on avoidance and setting limits. Either way, it's important to know what triggers your sleep issues and what your limits are.

If going out with friends until a later hour than you're used to will trigger a sleep disorder episode, don't do it. If you've had a relatively healthy sleep pattern, it can be hard to get back into it once that pattern has been broken. Know your limits and stick to them or you could be suffering for a while afterwards while trying to get back on track.

Adjust Your Expectations

Whether you've suffered from a sleep disorder for years, or it's a new experience, it's important to adjust your expectations. Unfortunately, sleep doesn't come as easily to you as it does to others, but that's okay, because you're working on creating a sleep routine that works for you and that gets you the most restful sleep possible.

It can be easy to fall into a habit of self-blame, but it's important to understand that sleep disorders can be caused by a number of things outside of your control. Fortunately, with the help of your doctor, you can reclaim your sleep and learn to cope with your disorder. It takes time, and there will be an adjustment period, but you can do it.

While sleep disorders can be a nuisance, you don't have to suffer through them alone. Speak with your doctor about your options. Contact a company like Billings Clinic for more information.