Insomnia is a common sleep disorder among all ages characterized by difficulty of falling asleep. One can wake up in the middle of the night or find it quite hard to get back to sleep. In addition, one can feel very tired when he or she wakes up. People suffering from this condition frequently experience decreased alertness and mental sluggishness. Some people can experience acute insomnia where they lack sleep for a few days or weeks. This could be caused by a traumatic event or a stress related issue. Likewise, others can get chronic insomnia which is a long-term condition that can last for several months. This could be related to a particular medical condition.
There are many solutions to this condition. Treatment involves use of medications and change of lifestyle and behavior. Let’s look at each in details;
Behavior and lifestyle changes
These are the behavioral techniques that can be used to treat the condition. These are quite effective since unlike medicines. In addition, they don’t have any side effects. Some can be taught by a therapist while others can be self taught. They include;
· Relaxation exercises
This involves relaxing muscles in different areas of the body. This help to induce sleep and at the same time calm the body. One can do breathing exercise or use medication techniques to get some sleep. Guided imagery can also be used which tends to be very helpful.
· Cognitive behavioral therapy
This involves changing some behaviors like keeping regular wake up time. One can eliminate the afternoon naps. The therapy helps to eliminate fears and beliefs that surround sleeping. Further, it teaches someone how to think rationally and in a positive way. It is very effective in the long-run since it improves the quality of sleep.
· Stimulus control
It involves limiting some activities that usually take place in the bedroom. For example making sure you only go to bed when you are sleepy and waking up when you have been awake for some time.
Doctors can recommend some medications to enhance sleep. However, there are some other non-prescription drugs which are available over the counter. Some of the medications tend to cause some side effects like nausea, anxiety, low blood pressure etc. Common medication include the use of the antidepressants .They are very effective since they have a seductive or a calming effect. One can also take receptor antagonists like suvorexant. They help in blocking chemicals that keep you awake hence promoting sleep. Non prescription medicines like the sleeping pills may not work like the way they did the first time. In addition, they tend to cause serious side effects.