Insomnia is not just a sleep problem rather it can affect your health remember that a good sleep is needed for good health and quality of life. Insomnia is a common problem but many people do not seek treatment for it. Consulting a sleep specialist/physician can help identify the root cause of your insomnia. Your doctor will treat you based on the cause, your symptoms and severity of symptoms.
[Read: Diagnosis of Insomnia]
Medical condition: Before starting treatment for insomnia your doctor will try to ensure that some other medical problem like depression, painful arthritis is not causing your symptoms. In these conditions treatment of underlying condition can often cure insomnia.
Treatment for insomnia: If your insomnia does not seem to be caused by any other condition your doctor will treat insomnia based on factors such as whether it is short-term or long-term problem, effect of insomnia on your health and everyday activities.
Good sleep hygiene: The aim of sleep hygiene or good sleep habits is to make you aware of the factors that can possibly affect sleep. Sleep hygiene or good sleep habits that can help you sleep better include;
[Read: Risk Factors for Insomnia]
Cognitive and behavioural treatment: Aim of cognitive and behavioural therapy is to change your undesirable or negative thoughts and/or behaviours that may be possibly causing insomnia. You may be recommended any of the following therapies by your doctor:
These are some of the cognitive and behavioural treatment recommended for people with insomnia. Your doctor may refer you to a clinical psychologist for CBT.
Sleeping tablets: Sleeping tablets or hypnotics are medications that are used to help or improve sleep. Your doctor may recommend sleep medications if;
Your doctor may prescribe short-acting benzodiazepines (with short-lasting effects) such as temazepam, loprazolam, lormetazepam or Z medicines (such as zopiclone, zolpidem, zaleplon). The Z medicines are relatively new type of sleeping tablet but they work like benzodiazepines. As the benzodiazepines and Z medicines have similar type of action if one does not work, changing to other medicine may not have any significant effect.
Sleep medications have several side effects, can cause dependence and are not effective if they are taken for a long-time.It is advisable to take these medications in the smallest effective dose and for the shortest length of time necessary (for no longer than a week). If you are taking any sleep medicine regularly consult your doctor for advice regarding reducing or stopping them and other therapies that may help you.
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