Having trouble falling asleep and staying asleep at night or waking up too early in the morning? If so, count yourself among the 70 million Americans who experience insomnia symptoms every year. As many as 10% to 15% of them have chronic insomnia that is associated with significant distress or impairment.
Stress, depression, a medical condition, or certain medications can keep you awake at all hours, depriving you of the rest your body and mind need. Fortunately, however, there are numerous treatment options to improve your relaxation and sleep.
5 Treatment Options to Help Curb Insomnia
- Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-1) is the first course of treatment and is typically just as effective – if not more effective – than resorting to sleeping medications. It enables you to control or eliminate the negative thoughts or actions that are keeping you awake by acknowledging and changing beliefs that affect your sleep pattern.
There are various forms of CBT-I, including:
- Stimulus control therapy is designed to help remove factors that condition your mind to resist sleep (such as setting a consistent bedtime and wake time while avoiding naps).
- Progressive relaxation techniques, biofeedback, and breathing exercises can help induce calm before bedtime.
- Sleep restriction, which involves decreased time spent in bed and partial sleep deprivation, so you are more tired the following night. Your time in bed is gradually increased as your sleep improves.
- Prescription medications can help you get to sleep, stay asleep, or both. Although sleeping pills are rarely recommended for more than a few weeks, there are several medications that are approved for long-term use, including Eszopiclone (Lunesta), Ramelteon (Rozerem), Zaleplon (Sonata), and Zolpidem (Ambien). However, prescription sleeping pills can cause side effects, such as daytime grogginess, and can be habit-forming, so it is best to talk with your doctor about their necessity and use.
- Oral appliances & CPAP machines are devices you wear to bed that help to keep your airway open while you sleep. You will want to consult a doctor specializing in sleep medicine, who can recommend which, if any, device is appropriate for you.
- Basic lifestyle and home remedies, such as sticking with a consistent sleep schedule, staying active, avoiding or limiting naps, avoiding or limiting caffeine and alcohol intake, refraining from smoking, and avoiding large meals and beverages before bedtime, can all help you sleep better.
Other strategies include making your bedroom dark, quiet, and comfortable for sleep, taking a warm bath, or having a relaxing massage before bedtime.
- Certain forms of alternative medicine may help you cope with sleeplessness. For example, supplements like melatonin and valerian have mild sedating effects. Acupuncture, yoga, tai chi, and meditation have also been found to help reduce stress and improve sleep quality.
Treatment for Insomnia in Reno-Sparks, Nevada
At MelioREM Sleep Clinic, our team of board-certified physicians works closely with patients from all over Nevada, including Elko County, to find the best solution to their individual sleep disorders, including chronic insomnia. Our goal is to help you achieve optimal sleep so you can stay healthy and achieve a better quality of life.
To learn more about our comprehensive services that effectively treat insomnia and other sleeping disorders and how we might help you, call us today at (775) 557-4900 or simply request an appointment now.