What is Involved in Insomnia Treatment?

Insomnia is considered a sleep disorder. It is marked by difficulty with falling asleep, staying asleep, or the quality of sleep. Someone with insomnia often has the opportunity to sleep but is not able to. This disorder may include sleepiness during the day and other problems with functioning during the day. While there is not one good insomnia treatment, some things may help someone who suffers from it. A sleep specialist should first diagnose a person with insomnia before any type of insomnia treatment can begin. The symptoms of insomnia should happen for at least 3 months, even though the person has the opportunity to sleep. There must be at least one other daytime symptom for insomnia to be diagnosed. These include fatigue, memory or concentration problems, mood irritability, hyperactivity or aggression, lack of energy, or negative impacts on relationships. A sleep specialist will ask questions and perform an exam, which will help determine if you have insomnia.

Treatment for chronic insomnia aims towards improving the quality and duration of sleep while reducing the impairments happening during the day. Some have found that cognitive-behavioral therapy helps those who have insomnia. This is often the first course because it does not have any negative side effects. This focuses on anxiety and stress that may prevent someone from sleeping. Treatment may include education about sleep and changing habits. These may include going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. A person may reduce the use of caffeine and alcohol within a certain period of time before bed. Relaxation techniques may also be used to help a person sleep. This can include meditation, exercises for breathing, and relaxation. If these options do not work, a person can try medication to encourage sleep. There are over-the-counter medications as well as prescriptions that may help a person sleep. These medications all have varying side effects and impacts on the body.