Modifying the sleeping cycle by changing the sleep cycle and addressing any issue that can trigger insomnia like stress, work, traveling, eating habits, medication can help many people sleep peacefully. However, if these changes still don’t give any desired outcome doctors may recommend cognitive behavioral therapy, medication or both in some cases. Cognitive therapy helps to build up positivity which keeps the mind calm and relaxed. It has been found that cognitive sleep therapy has been more effective than medication.
What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
CBT helps develop some good habits and behavior that help an individual feel relaxed and removes all the habits that keep a person from sleeping. Following is the strategy:
- Stimulus Control Therapy: This deals with conditioning the brain. We have taught to follow a general sleeping cycle which includes sleeping duration, sleeping time and wake up time. Stimulus control therapy recommends the patient to use the bedroom only for sleep and sex. If the person doesn’t sleep even after twenty minutes, he or she has to leave the room and come back when sleepy.
- Relaxation Techniques: Breathing exercise, muscle relaxation techniques are some of the best ways to reduce anxiety. These techniques help in controlling the breathing, anxiety, muscle tension and mood which helps an individual relax.
- Sleep Restriction: Sleep restriction therapy focuses on cutting down the sleeping time, avoiding naps thus forcibly creating sleep deprivation.
Medication for Insomnia
Medication in the form of sleeping pills can help an individual sleep, stay asleep or both. Such medication is usually not preferred for acute insomnia which tends to last only for a couple of weeks. For chronic case, however, there are medications for longer usage. Some of them are:
There are many nonprescription medicines which contain antihistamines that can make an individual drowsy. Although they are not for regular use, they effectively induce sleep in patients with insomnia. It is best to consult with a doctor before opting for such medication. Antihistamines have side effects like daytime sleepiness, confusion, dizziness, trouble in urination and cognitive decline. It has been found that many have benefited from yoga, meditation, acupuncture, and supplements like melatonin although the safety and effectiveness still remains doubtful.