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What is Insomnia?

Having problems sleeping is common in adults. Most of the time there is no need for concern as occasional sleep problems aren’t harmful to your health. However, if you regularly experience sleep problems and it starts to affect your health and daily life, you may need assistance to improve your sleep.

Insomnia is characterised by insufficient or poor sleep. It causes you to feel tired, but may also cause mood swings and make it difficult to concentrate and perform to your usual ability. Sleep problems are more prevalent in women than men, and tend to increase with age.

How is Insomnia diagnosed?

There are no specific tests to diagnose insomnia. Insomnia is defined by poor and/or insufficient sleep that causes tiredness and difficulty concentrating during the day. Symptoms of insomnia may include difficulty falling asleep, waking up several times during the night or lying awake for long periods of time.

When you consult your doctor about your sleep problems, he or she may ask you questions about your sleep pattern, such as:

  • Are you stressed, anxious or worried?
  • What is your sleep schedule like?
  • What is your sleep environment like?
  • Do you have any medical conditions or are you taking any medications?

Your doctor may also ask you to keep a sleep diary where you note down how, when and where you sleep and the quality of the sleep.

What are the treatment options for Insomnia?

Insomnia is usually treated with non-pharmacological therapies in the first instance. If there are other underlying causes or conditions, such as depression or anxiety, these should be targeted with treatment first.

Sleeping pills to help with Insomnia

There are different types of sleeping pills used to treat insomnia. Some of them are only indicated for the treatment of insomnia, whereas others are indicated for the treatment of multiple conditions.

Your doctor will recommend suitable sleeping pills based on a number of factors, including your age, any other conditions you may have and whether you are taking any other medicines.

Many sleeping pills may leave you tired and drowsy the day after. This means that your reactions may be affected. Please note, do not drive or operate machinery if you feel affected by drowsiness.

Sleeping pills indicated for the treatment of insomnia include:

Non-medication treatments to help with Insomnia

Non-medication treatments are usually recommended before considering sleeping pills. If you have suffered from insomnia for a longer period of time, CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) may be beneficial to you.

Can Insomnia be treated without medicines?

Yes, many cases of insomnia can be treated without sleeping pills. However, different types of sleep problems require different forms of treatment. Your doctor will have to consider your age, health status and any other medications you may take before prescribing any form of treatment.

There are a number of things your can do yourself to improve your sleep.

  • Assess your sleep environment: Ensure your room has the right temperature. Between 16-18°C is a good temperature at night. If your room is too warm, it is likely to cause you restlessness.
  • Exercise more: Regular exercise promotes wellbeing while decreasing stress, anxiety and eases depressive symptoms.
  • Avoid alcohol: Alcohol reduces the amount of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep you would normally get during a night’s sleep. Reduced REM sleep can cause daytime drowsiness and decrease your overall sleep quality.

Is treatment for Insomnia safe to order online?

Yes, it may be safe to order sleeping pills online, however, it depends highly on the source or website. To avoid fraudulent or scammy websites, you must do your own research before ordering any medicines online.

Always consult your doctor before ordering sleeping pills and insomnia treatments online. Your GP will help you find a treatment that is best suited for you.

There are a few things you can do to verify that a website is operating legally:

  • Ensure the website is authorised by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). This must be accompanied by displaying the MHRA logo on the website.
  • Verify that the dispensing pharmacy is registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) and displays the Registered Pharmacy logo on the website.
  • If possible, also look for reviews and social evidence before placing your order or requesting your prescription.

What will the doctor need to know?

It is crucial that you let our doctors know about any other medicines you may take, any other health condition you may have as well as any allergies.

In addition, it is important that you provide as much information as possible when requesting your prescription. Most medical questionnaires on the Doctor-4-U website allow you to answer the doctor’s questions while also submitting additional information. Simply include the information in any of the text boxes within the questionnaire.

Additional information and resources about Insomnia:

NHS Choices: Insomnia

The Sleep Council: Perfect Sleep Environment

The Order Process

1.      Choose your treatment

2.      Answer Our Doctor's Questions

3.      Prescription is issued

Need assistance?
Call Patient Support on 0161 639 0032
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