Yenra : Psychology : Sleep Help Tips to Cure Insomnia : Sleep is Important in Times of Crises Says the National Sleep Foundation


As a result of the pain, grief, and stress coming from the horrific events of the past week, many people will experience sleep disruptions, including trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, waking early, or having nightmares. Children are particularly vulnerable to these problems. Lost sleep or excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) contribute to feelings of adversity, can seem like one more 'loss of control,' and robs us of the opportunity to restore ourselves physically, emotionally, and even cognitively.

In order to help people address their need for sleep and sleep problems, and maximize the sleep they do get during these trying times, the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) offers the following information and tips:

Insomnia is characterized by difficulty falling asleep, waking up frequently during the night, waking up too early or feeling unrefreshed upon awakening. If these symptoms persist for more than a few days, seek help from a physician or other health care provider. Be cautious about self-treatments such as alcoholic beverages that may worsen the problem or not be effective.

Sleep experts recommend the following tips for good sleep:

During the day:

Short naps (l5-45 minutes) are effective in relieving acute sleepiness and restoring alertness, but for people suffering from insomnia, they should be avoided.

Nightmares can increase during periods of great stress for all people, though they occur most frequently in children age 3-6. Avoid eating or taking high-dose vitamins before bed, which can increase brain activity and the onset of nightmares. Also avoid alcohol, caffeine and other stimulants. Exercise and relaxation techniques may be helpful.

Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (EDS) and Fatigue, with symptoms such as difficulty concentrating or dozing off while watching TV or reading, is best handled by stopping what you are doing and taking a nap, or retiring early and going to sleep. Be cautious about treating EDS with caffeine or over-the- counter stimulants as they temporarily mask sleep loss and can cause sleep disruption. If EDS persists for more than a few days, speak to a physician or other health care provider.

Helping children

At times of acute stress or trauma, parents and guardians should expect children to experience sleep problems, regardless of their age. It may take a few weeks for them to get back to their normal routines, but if the problems continue beyond that time, consider seeking further help from your child's physician or other health care provider, the school psychologist, or the child's teacher.

There are things parents can do to help minimize the impact of these tragic events on their children, and help them get a restful night's sleep.

For all children:

Middle School and Younger Children


Teens may be more affected by these types of events than we realize and, therefore, at higher risk for sleep problems. Their greater understanding of the events can be accompanied by a greater degree of worrying, making them more at risk for insomnia than younger children.