Want to ask your own question about sleep? You can write it here anonymously. During the upcoming weeks of the program, look out for answers to the most frequently asked questions.
Q: Do you recommend any natural and/or non-addictive medications for sleep?
A: Actually no. Not that these do not exist, but they are not studied well, so many of the results are inconclusive or just lacking. Some compounds that claim to help you relax might also work for sleep. Two commonly used medications that are widely available are melatonin and antihistamines. Melatonin should only be used for fighting jet lag. You should first consult your doctor if melatonin could work for you (only with a melatonin deficiency). Antihistamines make you drowsy but can have negative health effects with long term use.
Q: What are the reasons for waking up too early and what can be done?
A: This is a pretty common complaint and is called a sleep maintenance problem. If it impacts your daytime functioning, it is recommended to visit your doctor. For some people it helps to get out of bed, do some other activity (not vigorous: reading, watching TV, listening to a radio show or podcast) and then go back to bed when feeling a bit tired. Make sure you’re feeling comfortably warm when trying to doze off again.
It might also indicate that you’re trying to sleep longer than you need or that you are actually an early bird and should consider going to bed earlier. Although it might not be clear what the cause is, these are some options to consider.
Q: What helps effectively against snoring? Can snoring be dangerous for your health?
A: There are several effective interventions for snoring, ranging from mouthpieces, to nose strips, to positional pillows, and even apps that work. What will work best for you depends on your type of snoring and your personal preference. Snoring can be a symptom of sleep apnea, and the types of snoring interventions listed here will likely not solve sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can have very serious long-term health consequences, so visit a medical professional to make sure your snoring is not an apnea symptom.