Insomnia: what can I do about it?
Insomnia: what can I do about it?

Many people suffer from sleeping problems from time to time. For example, you may have difficulty falling asleep, do not sleep much, often wake up or wake up very early. Those periods often pass by itself and usually have to do with temporary periods of stress. However, some people suffer from chronic insomnia. Having trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep more than three nights a week for three months or more is considered chronic insomnia. If this sounds familiar to you, it is good to seek help. Fortunately, there are things that you can do yourself to improve your sleep cycle!

The statistics

The Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) found out that 30 percent of the general population complains of sleep disruption, and approximately 20 percent of the Dutch population above 12 years have associated symptoms of daytime functional impairment consistent with the diagnosis of insomnia. They have difficulty falling asleep, lie awake at night or wake up too early and then do not fall asleep anymore. Women suffer more often than men, older people more often than young people and people with higher incomes less often than people with lower incomes.


If you do not sleep well, this can lead to having problems during the day, for example during work. Being less concentrated, irritable, forgetting things or having a bad mood are frequently mentioned complaints.

What can you do to improve your sleep quality?

  • Try to find out what causes your insomnia. A sleep diary might help to keep track of this.
  • Are you worried about something? Discuss your problems with a loved one. Or write down your sorrows. Try not to worry too much.

Try the following sleeping advice:

  • Exercise, preferably during the day or early in the evening.
  • Do not drink coffee, other caffeinated drinks or alcohol in the evening
  • Do not take nicotine in the evening.
  • Stop watching TV, don’t use your computer and put your smartphone away an hour before bedtime. The blue light of your screen interferes with your sleep cycle.
  • Relax your body an hour before bedtime (go for a short walk, do relaxation exercises, listen to music). This can relieve tension and help tight muscles relax.
  • Always get up around the same time and go to bed at a fixed time. If you experience increased awake time during the night, resist the urge to sleep in.

Still having trouble sleeping?

In some cases, insomnia is caused by a medical condition such as sleep apnea or by a mental disorder such as depression. Treatment for one of these underlying conditions may be necessary to improve insomnia. Also, treating insomnia may help depression symptoms improve faster.

If you keep having sleep problems, talk to your general practitioner. Your doctor may prescribe medication and have you try other strategies to get your sleep pattern back on track.

Share this post! If this post was insightful for you, share it with your loved ones so that they can better understand what you are going through.
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Content wizard who likes good food, is interested in alternative medicine and nutrition. Also likes to paint and read.

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