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Depakote (Divalproex)

A popular way of treating insomnia today is a behavioural psychology method called stimulus-control, which consists of retraining yourself to sleep by learning to associate bed and bedtime with sleep, and sleep alone. This is the routine:
Use your bed and bedroom for sleep only. Don’t watch television, listen to the radio, read, work, smoke or eat in bed. Making love is of course permitted!
Always get up at the same time, including weekends and holidays. Lie-ins may be tempting, but if you take more sleep than you need on Sunday morning it’ll be harder to get to sleep on Sunday night.
If you find waking up really difficult, place your alarm clock at the other side of the room so that you have to get up to turn it off. Put the light on straight away, as light can stimulate wakefulness.
Don’t take naps during the day. You can overcome post-lunch sleepiness with some deep breathing, or a quick walk round the block.
Don’t go to bed until you are really sleepy.
If you don’t fall asleep within ten minutes, get up and do something else in another room. Don’t go back to bed until you are ready to fall asleep. The same applies if you wake up in the middle of the night for any length of time. Don’t associate your bedroom with lying awake. Get up, make yourself a hot drink if you like — milk or herbal tea, but not coffee or ordinary tea. Read, or write letters, until you are ready to go to sleep again. (Some people do quite a lot of creative work in the middle of the night and don’t miss their sleep at all.)
This method doesn’t necessarily suit everybody, but some studies show that it can be successful. In one trial a group of elderly insomniacs with an average age of 67 were able to reduce their time for falling asleep from an average of over an hour to half an hour.
There are further sleep-assisting habits you can develop:
Deal with specific anxieties during the day or early evening.
Avoid stimulating foods and drinks in the evening. These include coffee, tea and alcohol. Smoking is also a stimulant; if you can’t give it up immediately, at least cut down, especially in the evening.
Avoid stimulating activities late at night, including strenuous exercise, work, and arguments.
Establish a winding-down routine before you go to bed.
Spend the last hour before bedtime preparing for sleep, in-
cluding some relaxation and a warm bath.
Make sure your bedroom is both well-aired and warm.
A word about naps
for good sleepers, daytime naps can be beneficial and restorative; as we’ve seen, the human body clock actually seems built for sleep twice a day. However, while you are recovering a normal sleep pattern, naps are best avoided. The exception here would be parents of new babies, who are not technically insomniac, but are getting broken nights. If you are elderly and the need for a daytime nap becomes overpowering, take it but remember to allow for less sleep at night.

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