Temporary sleep disturbance
Different people need different amounts of sleep. Adults usually need on average 7 to 8 hours sleep a night. It is normal to need less sleep as you become older. For people aged over 70 years about 6 hours sleep per night is average.
Insomnia is when a person cannot sleep properly. This can appear in a variety of ways:
Poor sleep may develop for no apparent reason. However, there are a number of underlying causes.
Insomnia can be caused by an underlying physical condition causing involuntary movement, pain or discomfort. Examples include arthritis, coughing and itching.
Disruptions within the sleeping environment or to bedtime routines can cause restless sleep. Factors include noise, snoring, jet lag, a strange bed, anxiety or depression.
Loss or worry caused by events such as bereavement can also make sleeping difficult.
Such as alcohol, caffeine and nicotine can interfere with sleep as can some prescribed medicines. Sleeping problems can result from the effects of drugs such as anti-
The first step of treatment is to identify the underlying causes and to treat them. For example if insomnia is being caused by depression, then once the depression is treated, the insomnia will often disappear without further medical help.
Drug treatment may be considered in a number of cases, either because the symptoms
are particularly worrying or to alleviate short-
In order to get a good night's sleep, there are some simple measures that can be taken:
For further advice on insomnia contact your local community pharmacy.
If you are experiencing long term recurrent sleep disturbances please consult your GP.
The information provided on this website does not replace medical advice.
If you want to find out more, or are worried about any medical issue or symptoms that you may be experiencing, please contact your local community pharmacist or see your doctor