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What’s keeping you up at night? Insomnia causes and fixes

Insomnia affects many Americans. Causes range from sleep hygiene, nutrition and mental health.
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ST. LOUIS — If you have chronic insomnia, like 30% to 50% of American adults, you know how it feels. At night you can't fall asleep or stay asleep, and you don’t feel rested in the morning. But you still have to press on. 

During the day, you have trouble focusing when people talk, you can’t remember things at work, and you’ve been snapping at your family. 

This has been going on for months. 

Your sleep study shows no sleep apnea, and your doctor shrugs. Or maybe, despite all of your sleep trouble, you’ve never even talked to your doctor about it.

We’ll explore common sleep dilemmas keeping people awake at night and what you can do about it. You may not fit neatly into one of the dilemmas — as a matter of fact, some of them may overlap for you. But you will get some ideas on how to talk to your doctor and where to go for help.

Jackie Barnes, Ph.D., LCSW, is a freelance health writer, medical family therapist, consultant and professor. When she’s not practicing and promoting holistic health, she’s working on one of her many creative projects.

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