9 Treatment Options to Cure Your Insomnia
Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that interferes with your daily life. It can make it hard for you to fall asleep, to stay asleep, to wake up early, and to get back to sleep.
Insomnia can make you feel fatigued or unrefreshed during the day. A lot of people experience brief periods of difficulty in sleeping, but if your insomnia becomes a regular occurrence, you should ask for help.
Here are 9 treatments for insomnia to help you get a good night’s sleep.
Improving your lifestyle could make a big difference in your insomnia. Before you consider medications and other techniques, examine your lifestyle first and see if what are the adjustments that you can make.
Limit your bedroom activities. Make your bedroom a no-work place. Once your mind is set to work in your bedroom, it can make it difficult for you to sleep. This method conditions your mind that your room is only a place for sleeping and not for other activities.
Quit drinking coffee. Caffeine could stay in your system for up to 12 hours. Skip drinking tea, soda, and coffee, even decaf.
A study from the University of Florida showed that depending on the brand of the coffee, five to ten cups of decaf can contain as much caffeine as a cup of a regular coffee. Caffeine does not only affect the quantity of your sleep but also the quality. It can make your sleep lighter, less restorative, and less fragmented.
Set a sleep schedule that you will follow. Sleeping irregular hours every night can confuse your internal clock or circadian rhythm. If you have a regular bed and wake-up time, your body can stay on track.
Lifestyle changes can improve your overall sleep quantity and quality. It can also reduce the time it takes for you to fall asleep without the use of medicines.
Another treatment option for insomnia is to practice relaxation techniques, also known as progressive muscle relaxation. These techniques can teach a person to tense and relax the muscles in the different areas the body.
This process can help calm your body and induce sleep. Relaxation techniques include mindfulness, breathing exercises, guided imagery, and meditation techniques.
Relaxation techniques work to aid you in falling asleep and also to return to sleep quickly even if you wake up in the middle of the night.
Stimulus control is another way to treat insomnia. The primary goal of stimulus control is to reduce the anxiety and the conditioned arousal that a person may feel when attempting to go to bed.
During a stimulus control therapy, you will learn to: go to bed only when you feel sleepy, get out of bed when you cannot sleep; use your bedroom only for sleep or sex; rise at the same time every morning; and avoid naps.
A study entitled Stimulus-control: Nonpharmacologic Treatment for Insomia concluded that family physicians could use stimulus control in treating patients with insomnia. Instead of using hypnotics, this non-pharmacologic approach treatment can help motivate patients.
Stimulus control can break the association of the bed or the bedroom as a place of frustration or dread for people with insomnia. It helps you to view sleep in a positive light.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Another insomnia treatment option is to undergo cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This therapy includes behavior, action, and thought changes that hinder your ability to sleep well.
CBT also helps you develop habits that promote a healthy sleeping pattern. It develops a behavioral element that establishes your “pro-sleep” routine by having a regular bed and wake up time, getting out of bed after waking up for 20 minutes and avoiding afternoon naps.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is another effective insomnia treatment since it makes falling asleep and staying asleep an automatic and natural routine.
Sleep Restriction Therapy
Sleep restriction therapy (SRT) is a non-drug treatment option to address insomnia. This therapy limits the time spent in bed and the actual time spent sleeping. It increases sleep efficiency by prolonging your sleep time.
Restricting the time you spend in bed creates a mild sleep deprivation that can promote an earlier, more effective, and deeper sleep.
If you are routinely spending 8 hours in bed each night but only sleep for a total of 6 hours, the initial time allocation for SRT is 6 hours. You are forbidden to go to bed early, to get up late or to take naps. This method forces you to sleep with a window.
The therapy’s goal is for people with insomnia to sleep the entire time that he is in bed. Once the goal is achieved and you feel sleepy during the daytime, your sleep time allocation will slowly increase by 15 minutes at a time.
Biofeedback is another technique used to eliminate insomnia. This method allows you to observe biological signs such as muscle tension and heart rate and shows you how to adjust them to help you sleep. This will help identify the patterns that affect your sleep.
This treatment involves the sleep specialist taking a biofeedback device to your home to record your daily patterns. It uses a simple electronic device that monitors your breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle tension. This detects what your body is doing under different conditions.
Biofeedback helps you get in tune with your body and knowing how it reacts under certain conditions.
Over-the-Counter Sleeping Pills
Over-the-Counter (OTC) or nonprescription sleeping aids can also be used to help with your sleep problem. Most OTC sleeping pills contain antihistamines. Antihistamines are commonly used as medicines for allergies, but some can also cause drowsiness and marketed as sleeping pills.
Diphenhydramine and doxylamine succinate sedating antihistamines sold as sleeping pills. All natural sleep pills such as melatonin and valerian can also aid in your sleep. These supplements help control your natural sleep and wake cycle.
Over-the-Counter sleeping pills are commonly used as short-term insomnia solutions to help you sleep faster.
Benzodiazepines or benzos is another type of sleeping medication. Benzos increase the level of the brain’s gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Benzodiazepines trigger the production of GABA to depress the brain. This will help promote the feeling of relaxation and sedation.
Benzodiazepines are also antidepressants and are given to people who are battling anxiety causing insomnia.
Also known as nonbenzodiazepines, Z-drugs are another type of prescription sleep aid. These medicines include Ambien, Lunesta, and Sonata.
Same with benzos, z-drugs also boost the levels of GABA to calm the activities in the brain. These sleep aids contain calming effects that treat insomnia and depression.
Z-drugs can cause a person to feel drowsy and dizzy, causing sleepiness.
There are a lot of treatment options for insomnia. You may try medical and natural remedies for insomnia first to help treat your sleep disorder. Before you try any of these treatments, make sure that you have a doctor like a dentist with proper knowledge and training in sleep problems assess you and help treat your insomnia.