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Get better sleep

Why would getting better sleep help you?

Sleep is essential for your physical and mental health to repair itself. Long term sleep problems can cause depression and anxiety. The immune system won’t work properly which is obviously important for you.

HIV medication and sleep problems

If you are experiencing sleep problems such as pain, particularly vivid dreams or night sweats and have been on the HIV medication more than 4 weeks, talk to your HIV doctor and see if a change of medication might resolve matters.

Some HIV drugs have been associated with sleep issues. If side effects make their presence known, this is commonly in the first two weeks and then should subside. 

Longer term side effects should be checked with your HIV doctor to work out if there is an alternative option with your HIV medication.

Techniques to get better sleep

There are plenty of techniques and tricks to get better sleep such as waking and going to sleep at the same times every day and other physical solutions easily found online such as on NHS Choices website.

The main reason why a lot of people experience sleep disturbances is anxiety and not being able to relax properly and the more you focus on trying to get to sleep the harder it will become. 

Counting sheep doesn’t necessarily work but the theory of distraction does e.g. It may help when you are unable to sleep to leave the bedroom and do something else for 20 minutes; read a book, drink some water or write down your thoughts on a notepad. Return to bed a short while later and the distraction should have hopefully worked. 

Remember – the harder you try to sleep the more anxious you will feel about not being able to, so take the pressure off yourself and do something else.

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