Q: For the past couple of years, I have found it difficult to go to sleep. It takes maybe two hours, and then I awaken early. I am healthy, but feel fatigued and need an afternoon nap to help with the tiredness. Should I take sleeping pills?
A: It sounds as though you have chronic insomnia. The problem is a common one, affecting between 10 and 15 percent of people. It is much more common as we age, and affects women more than men. Sometimes it complicates chronic medical or psychiatric disorders.