Fight Insomnia with the Right Treatments
Prescription and Non-Drug Based Therapies
If your sleep were chronically or even temporarily disturbed to the point that your life was significantly impacted, what would you want to fix it? Something to make you sleep! You would give your right arm to be able to fall asleep and stay asleep so your body could recalibrate its biorhythms.
Types of Insomnia Treatments
A sleep disorder specialist or your general practitioner could use a variety of treatments to remedy your insomnia, ranging from sleeping agents to more aggressive psychological treatments, including behavioral modification.
- Prescription, pharmacologic treatments for sleep disorders and insomnia
- Behavioral therapy for insomnia
- Homeopathic treatments that relieve insomnia
Medications and Prescription Drugs for Insomnia
Prescription sleep aids are a common first line treatment for insomnia particularly in cases where the sleep disturbance is temporary. Persons that have experienced loss of loved ones, suffered a break-up or divorce, changed jobs, moved, have been laid-off, or have some other temporary upset could suffer a short-term bout of insomnia easily nudged back on the right sleep track with a prescription for a sleep aid.
Sleep aids are called “hypnotics.” Two types of prescription sleep aids are common:
- Benzodiazepines include popular brand-name Restoril usually used for short-term insomnia, but also includes anti-anxiety medications like Ativan and Xanax, and anti-convulsants. Benzodiazepine side effects can include confusion and drowsiness, and are easier to overdose, and can become habit-forming-- making some very in-demand street drugs.
- Non-benzodiazepines are newer and more appropriate for many insomnia sufferers, particularly the elderly. Side effects are fewer, and medications generally non-additive. Common brand name non-benzos include Ambien, Lunesta, and Sonata.
Over-the-Counter Sleep Aids
Many people have resorted to over-the-counter, or OTC sleep aids, including brand names like Nytol, Unisom, and Sominex. Antihistamines are also common short-term fixes, and include popular Benadryl. But if you’re using these regularly and long-term it’s time to see a doctor. Also, OTCs might work for you in the short-term and help you get your sleep schedule back on track, but read all the label directions, drug interactions and heed any warnings. Take only the recommended dose, no more. If sleeplessness persists, see your physician.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Traditional treatment for insomnia would likely include prescription sleeping pills. Cognitive behavioral therapy is an alternative treatment to prescription medications that’s been delivering effective and long-lasting results for temporary and long-term or chronic insomnia sufferers. Cognitive behavioral therapy engages you in various levels of psychological reprogramming. CBT works because it is built on the theory that insomnia becomes a continual problem because you have begun to formulate beliefs about sleep and sleep patterns. These beliefs, expectations and assumptions are driving your sleep disturbance. The therapy melds a complimentary assortment of therapies including behavior, relaxation, and psychotherapy.
Homeopathic Insomnia Treatments & Alternative Therapies
Not everyone chooses to use drugs to alleviate symptoms of insomnia. In fact a growing population of people are turning to natural substances imbued with properties that are reported to relieve insomnia and other symptoms of sleep disturbance and disorders. Complimentary therapies like acupuncture, music therapy, and light-treatment may offer relief as well.
Alternative therapies include:
- Light treatment