Treating Insomnia

Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that makes it hard for one to fall asleep, stay asleep, and/or get good quality sleep. These symptoms persist even when individuals with insomnia have the time and right environment for good sleep. When insomnia is left untreated, it can interfere with daily activities as one may feel tired and unrested throughout their day. The following are methods for treating insomnia that have been proven to help many.

Creating Healthy Sleep Habits

  • Make your bedroom as “sleep friendly” as possible
    • Do your best to keep your room quiet and at a comfortable temperature
  • Create a timely routine of when to wake up and when to go to sleep
    • Try to maintain consist sleep times even on weekends
  • Try to get in physical activity during your day
    • Exercise can help make it easier for one to sleep at night, but it is best to avoid exercising too close to your bedtime
  • Learn new ways to manage stress
    • Finding a way to relax and lower stress levels can help one wind down and sleep better a night

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia

  • Cognitive therapy
    • Can help one feel less nervous and think more positively
  • Relaxation and Meditation Therapy
    • Helps teach individuals how to relax and fall asleep faster
  • Sleep Restriction Therapy
    • This type of therapy gives you a specific amount of time to spend in bed, whether or not you sleep during that time. This method overtime has been found to help improve one’s ability to fall asleep and quality of sleep

Medications

  • Prescription medications
    • Benzodiazepines can be helpful for getting a better night’s rest, but they are habit forming and should not be taken for more than a few weeks
    • Benzodiazepine receptors agonists, such as zolpidemzaleplon, and eszopiclone
    • Melatonin receptor agonists, such as ramelteon
    • Orexin receptor antagonists, such as suvorexant
  • Over-the-counter medicine or supplements
    • Melatonin supplements are lab-made versions of the sleep hormone, melatonin
    • Other over-the-counter medications may be used as sleep aids

More information and RESOURCES

  • To learn more about insomnia and treatment, we suggest the following link: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/insomnia
  • We recommend talking to your healthcare provider before attempting to treat insomnia or with any additional questions you may have

 

TIPs FOR BETTER SLEEP

Sleep is vital to our health and wellbeing. Getting better sleep can help you wake up feeling energized and ready to be your best self. If you struggle with getting a good night’s rest, consider implementing the following CDC recommended tips into your routine.

01

Consistency

Everyday, including both weekdays and the weekend, try to wake up each morning and go to bed each night at the same time.

02

DITCH THE ELECTRONICS

While trying to fall asleep, or just before, try to avoid using electronics and looking at screens.

03

AVOID LARGE MEaLS

Before going to bed, try to steer away from large meals, caffeine, or alcohol consumption.

04

EXERCISE

Attempt to increase your physical activity throughout the day.

To learn more about getting a better night’s sleep, use the following link to visit the CDC’s page on sleep and sleep disorders: https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/sleep_hygiene.html

Sleep is Vital

Describing how sleep is vital for mental health, Matthew Walker writes “Scientists have discovered a revolutionary new treatment that makes you live longer. It enhances your memory, makes you more attractive. It keeps you slim and lowers food cravings. It protects you from cancer and dementia. It wards off colds and flu. It lowers your risk of heart attacks and stroke, not to mention diabetes. You’ll even feel happier, less depressed, and less anxious. Are you interested?” This quote is from his book “Why We Sleep”. The new treatment is sleep. Good sleep. Restorative sleep.

Walker states “Routinely sleeping less than six or seven hours a night demolishes your immune system, more than doubling your risk of cancer. Sleep disruption further contributes to all major psychiatric conditions, including depression, anxiety, and suicide.”

 

Sleep is too often neglected

We overlook and under appreciate sleep in our 24/7 world. We tend to pin badges on those type A personalities who are non-stop dynamos of productivity. But not without a price. Lack of sleep contributes to so many health and mental problems, it should be a top priority in developing a treatment plan.  Dr.Walker also points out that traditional sleeping pills can keep you from the deep healing sleep stage. As a result, it perpetuates the sleep problem.

Right now, get as much sleep as you can without changing any medications. Sleep is vital. So is conferring with your provider if you are on medications. Never stop a medication on your own and always let your provider know if you are encountering sleep problems or other side effects. In addition, do not add any herbal or natural sleep aids if you are medication. It is possible to get more sleep, but it needs to be carefully supervised to keep you safe.

No supplement, should be used without clearance from your physician or healthcare provider. This article is not a substitute for direct, personal, professional medical care and diagnosis.