Insomnia- What to Do When you Cannot Sleep?

Also called sleeplessness, insomnia is a sleep disorder that troubles thousands of people all around the world. Not only do people have difficulty in falling asleep, even when they have the opportunity to do so, but they also find it difficult to stay asleep if they do manage to sleep. Without a full night’s sleep, you are not going to feel good throughout the day. Even a daytime nap cannot provide you with the energy you need. It continues to happen day after day and it eventually takes a toll on your health and work performances, which can have serious consequences for your future.

There are plenty of treatment options you can find for dealing with insomnia. A healthy diet and good sleeping habits can fix the problem effectively. In some cases, medications and behavioral cognitive therapy may be needed. The course of treatment can be decided when you know the underlying cause or medical condition contributing to the insomnia. When these conditions or issues are resolved, your sleeping pattern will return to normal. The most common treatment options at your disposal are:

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Healthy Lifestyle Changes

Sometimes, your daily activities, diet and routine may lead to insomnia and the best way to counter it is to make healthy lifestyle changes such as:

  • Only go to your bedroom for sex and sleep. Activities that can stimulate your brain such as eating, reading or watching TV should be kept outside.
  • Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time on a daily basis to train your mind.
  • Immediately go to bed when you feel tired. Fighting sleep may just drive it away.
  • Reduce the worries and stress in life that may be interfering with your sleep because your mind won’t quit.
  • Cut down smoking and drinking coffee because they are stimulants and make it harder for you to fall asleep.
  • Don’t eat foods that are high in saturated fats, especially at dinner, because they are difficult to digest and make sleeping difficult. Also, incorporate exercise in your routine.

Behavioral Therapies

These treatments are aimed at making your bedroom environment more conducive to sleep. They can be quite effective, especially the ones outlined below:

  • Relaxation techniques including breathing exercises, muscle relaxation and biofeedback.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy is aimed at changing your pattern of thinking to give you a more positive mindset so you can sleep better.
  • Sleep restriction involves cutting down the time spent in bed thereby causing partial sleep deprivation to make you tired more the next night, which makes you fall asleep quickly.

Medications

These are generally a short-term solution during which your lifestyle changes and behavioral therapies can take effect. Medications for sleeping should not be taken for more than a few weeks. Some of the common options used include Trazodone (Desyrel), which is an antidepressant, Ramelteon (Rozerem), which impacts the melatonin receptor in the brain, and Etizolam, which belongs to the benzodiazepine class of medicines and can alleviate anxiety and insomnia effectively.

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