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Insomnia during the gap year

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Insomnia, also known as sleeplessness, is a sleep disorder in which people have trouble sleeping.  They may have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep as long as desired. Insomnia is typically followed by daytime sleepiness, low energy, and feeling depression. It may result in an increased risk of lower motor skills and problems focusing and learning.

Moving to a new country for a year and leaving one’s family to learn for the year can be stressful. Being thousands of miles away from your comfort zone can cause sleeping problems.  Insomnia is prevalent during the gap year, especially during the holidays and the first few school months.

Sometimes, the best cure is time. Everyone needs time to adjust to a new environment and get used to living away from one’s parents. However, when it doesn’t get better over time, we recommend a few things:

  • Relaxing training – some people can’t fall asleep or sleep well because they are stressed. So, meditating and doing some relaxing techniques can be very helpful. This includes breathing exercises, mindfulness, and guided imagery.
  • Sleeping medications – sometimes the best way to treat insomnia is “breaking the cycle.” By taking a sleeping pill for a few days, our bodies get used to having a goods night's sleep. Once our bodies get used to a goods night's sleep – we are more likely to fall asleep naturally. We recommend mild sleeping medication, like OTC Tylenol PM. Acomel PM in Israel.
  • Drinking sleepy tea – many different types of teas make the body tired. These are natural drinks that can help people fall asleep.
  • If someone has insomnia for an extended time, we advise them to see a doctor. This may be a sign of a larger medical problem—examples of tea: chamomile, lavender tea, and cinnamon tea.

It is important to remember that it takes time to get used to living away from home and a new environment. Many of the gap year students have never been away from home for more than a few weeks (summer camps). This can cause them to have insomnia.

Also, the living conditions in the dorms aren’t as good as one’s home. Often the beds are narrow, the mattresses are thinner, and people need to get used to living with roommates. All of these conditions can lead to insomnia and sleeping problems.

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