Insomnia | Treatments
Recently, more and more people seem to be diagnosed with insomnia. Insomnia is the difficulty in sleeping despite a suitable environment. People with insomnia may be sleepy during the day and unable to carry out their normal daily activities. According to research, insomnia is becoming more common, affecting more than 10% of adults.
Treatment for insomnia includes medications that relax the muscles and prepare the body for sleep. However, there is no specific treatment for insomnia; the medication is provided for the condition that causes insomnia. The treatment depends on the patient’s condition and whether the latter is new to insomnia or has been struggling with it for a long time.
There are different criteria because insomnia is already a complex concept; some people cannot sleep, while others find it difficult to get quality sleep. Before any treatment, you should see a doctor note your symptoms, and get an accurate diagnosis. These symptoms should recur over a period of three months to be diagnosed with insomnia.
Furthermore, nocturnal symptoms alone are not enough to be diagnosed with insomnia. There should also be at least one symptom during the day, such as fatigue, irritability, daytime sleepiness, hyperactivity, etc.
While everyone seems to self-diagnose with insomnia, but far from the truth, to be diagnosed with insomnia, you should go through a medical examination that includes a series of questions. This way, your doctor can determine if you are only suffering from insomnia or other medical conditions.
These tests can also be done during the day to measure your sleep latency, i.e., how long it takes you to fall asleep and how you feel and work during the day. In addition, your doctor may prescribe an actigraphy, a monitoring test that requires you to wear a body sensor while you sleep for up to two weeks. Blood tests may also be prescribed to rule out underlying conditions that cause insomnia symptoms.
Treatment For Chronic Insomnia
If you have been diagnosed with chronic insomnia, the main aim will be to improve sleep quality and duration and reduce the daytime symptoms associated with it. The treatment normally comprises one behavioral intervention, and if ever they do not work, your doctor will provide you with sleep medication.
Behavioral Therapy For Insomnia
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT-i) is the first option for insomnia, as there are very low risks compared to medications. It is delivered either by a doctor or a licensed psychologist.
They may include sleep education which will allow them to have a good sleeping pattern. It also includes changing the patient’s lifestyle, as many habits can lead to difficulty falling asleep. For example, a good habit to adopt is waking up and sleeping at a specific time every day.
Stimulus control, people experiencing insomnia, may feel stress at the idea of sleeping as they know they will have difficulties which makes it even more difficult; it acts as a vicious cycle. So, it is important to reduce these anxieties symptoms to improve sleep. You shall develop a positive relationship with sleep and with your sleeping environment; some people use their bed all day, which creates a negative relationship; you should lay down only when you are going to sleep or during your sexual intercourse, not for eating or for watching your favorite show.
To have a better sleep, you should allow your body to relax. Relaxation includes breathing exercises, meditation, and muscle relaxation.
There are very few sleep therapists in the United States, but it is very recommended to visit one compared to a doctor if you suffer from insomnia.
Medications For Insomnia
Medications for insomnia are the last option; if your doctor or therapist goes for medication as the first option, you should know they are not very competent. If ever any other methods have not been proven effective, that’s when medications are solicited.
Some popular medications are benzodiazepines, melatonin, orexin, and so on…
There are other natural methods to fight insomnia; there are some herbal supplements that you may want to try before going for medications. Let us know in the comments if you suffer from insomnia…