What Can I Do About Insomnia?
Not being able to get a good night’s rest on the daily basis can really become aggravating and dangerous to say the least. If you are currently suffering from insomnia that has lasted more than a few days, it may be necessary to start looking into solutions to treating it so that you can get the rest you need at night. Some of the more common approaches to treating insomnia include behavioral therapy, herbal remedies, prescribed medications, and lifestyle changes.
Depending upon the severity of your insomnia your doctor may recommend you take behavioral therapy. This might include sleep hygiene education, relaxation, stimulus control, and cognitive therapy to name a few.
Sleep Hygiene Therapy
This therapy option will teach you how to sleep only the required amount each night, to maintain a regular sleeping schedule, to avoid caffeinated beverages, avoid smoking, relieving anxieties before going to bed, exercising regularly, and learning to eat small snacks to prevent hunger from waking you up.
Relaxation therapies involve the process of relaxing your muscles from head to toe. They will teach you exercise that you can do at home to get your muscles to relax providing a better environment to sleep.
Often coupled with relaxation therapy is the biofeedback process. This is when sensors are placed on your body to determine muscle tensions as they relate to brain rhythms. By reviewing your level of tension activity you can learn to reduce those tensions to get more effective sleep.
The thoughts in your head at night when stressing about the days ahead could prevent you from falling asleep. Cognitive therapies will work to evaluate your thoughts and retrain your brain to not stress but rationalize them to prevent poor sleeping habits. You will work with a therapist to discuss your anxieties, fears, and stress to learn a new method of thinking to help you get more sleep at night.
Medications for Insomnia
In cases in which therapies are not an effective solution there may be medications that are prescribed to help you sleep. It is important before taking medications that you are aware of the side effects and that you’ve talked with your doctor about the benefits of using the medication. Typically you are given a certain type of medication and if it does not work within a few days your regimen may be altered. Some medicine types that are often prescribed to those suffering from insomnia include sedative hypnotic medicines, benzodiazepines, nonbenzodiazepines, antidepressants, and other medications.
If you’re not sure about therapy options or the adverse affects of medications there are other options that you could try for treating insomnia. Some studies have shown that there have been benefits for those who participate in tai chi, yoga, and or acupressure. There are also herbal medications that can be taken such as valerian that are completely natural sleep aids. Other options might include increasing your exercise and fitness levels, reducing stress, and practicing better sleeping habits. Talk to your doctor about all of your options and weigh them carefully to discern which method is right for you.