Insomnia

Q: I am 30 year old and I am now working in Korea (Seoul). I came here in January of this year. After I came here I had lot of problems. One of these problems is insomnia. I am working in a research institute as a scientist. Sometimes I have to work hard (more than 12 hours). Normally I go to bed around 12pm, but I do not get sleep till 3 am. I simply keep lying on the bed for nearly 3 hours. I think I am getting sleep exactly to the Indian time. I have not adjusted this time (I feel). I did not take any medicine for this. Could you please help me?

A:Sorry to hear about your insomnia which has resulted from lack of adjustment to your new environment. This can be very frustrating when you toss and turn in your bed. Normally, one adjusts in about a week to any new time zone but your inner clock has not done it so far, and you should help it to adjust. You are right in saying that drugs are not a great help. Exercise in the evening, at least a long walk may help. About one hour before your selected time for sleeping, say 11 pm. or midnight, have a bath and then get into bed and do some light reading, or listen to the radio. Avoid late TV viewing. Do not compromise on waking up in the mornings which must be strictly to the new local time. Use an alarm clock to wake you up at the right time, if needed. If you have to wake up at the right time then your system will get used to sleeping at the right time. There may be other reasons for your insomnia, such as depression, anxiety, bad working conditions, etc. If there is any other reason then you should seek appropriate help.

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