Info

noj r

Do you wake up in the [YES

night or early in the YES

morning for no obvious reason and are unable to get back to sleep?

yes]

Do you find that you are woken by attacks of breathlessness?

Have you noticed any of the following?

• Difficulty in concentrating

• Frequent negative thoughts

• Feeling low in spirits

• Loss of interest in sex no on nights when you have difficulty in sleeping, have you drunk excessive amounts of alcohol?

Have you recently stopped taking sleeping drugs?

no possible causes Stresses or anxieties that arise during the day can make it difficult for you to relax sufficiently to fall asleep.

Go to chart Anxiety (p.172)

possible cause Disturbed sleep that occurs together with any of these symptoms indicates that you may be depressed.

Go to chart

Depression (p.170)

possible causes Breathlessness that comes on suddenly during the night can be due to asthma or a serious heart or lung condition.

Go to chart

yes i possible cause Although excessive alcohol consumption may initially help to induce sleep, it tends to make you wake during the night; getting back to sleep may be difficult.

action Try cutting down your alcohol consumption. If you have difficulty doing so, or if your sleeping difficulties persist, consult your doctor for advice.

possible causes Breathlessness that comes on suddenly during the night can be due to asthma or a serious heart or lung condition.

Go to chart

Shortness of breath yes i on nights when you have difficulty in sleeping, have you drunk more tea, coffee, or cola than usual?

yes no

Continued on next page possible cause Caffeine (p.204), which is present in coffee, tea, cola, and certain other drinks, stimulates the central nervous system, making you feel more alert. This may make it difficult for you to sleep.

action Try to avoid these drinks in the late afternoon or evening. If you still have trouble sleeping, cut out caffeinated drinks altogether.

possible cause Sleeping drugs can disrupt your normal sleeping patterns, and it can take several weeks or months for the patterns to be re-established after you stop taking the drugs.

action Try to be patient while your sleeping patterns are returning to normal, and resist the temptation to ask your doctor to prescribe more drugs for your sleeping problem. In the meantime, take steps to improve your sleep (see Getting a good night's sleep, opposite). If you are still having difficulty sleeping after a month, discuss the problem with your doctor.

Continued from previous page

On nights when you have trouble sleeping, have you eaten a late or particularly heavy meal? no yes

Are you pregnant?

yes no

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