When looking at treatments for insomnia, it is important to first rule out underlying medical and psychological causes contributing to the condition, such as depression and anxiety. Treatments for insomnia can lie in simply changing your sleep environment—or improving your sleep hygiene. This simple treatment for insomnia involves evaluating the environment one sleeps in and eliminating factors which may inhibit sleep.
Treatment for insomnia can be as basic as making sure one refrains from consuming too much water or food before going to bed. Eliminating noise and disturbances are other factors which can aid in the treatment of insomnia. Exercise is also important as it expends excessive energy and lactic acid in the blood which may inhibit sleep; exercise also helps alleviate stress and muscle tension. However, for the treatment of insomnia, exercise should be done early in the day, as the body needs time to cool down. Lastly, one should always make sure the bed they are sleeping on is appropriate for their body type—especially for spinal support.
Treatment for insomnia can lie in restricting one’s sleep—not oversleeping and using one’s bed strictly for sleep and not everyday activities, e.g. watching television, reading, etc. This can help reduce sleep anxiety, especially if the insomniac uses the bed when sleep is insured as opposed to “tossing and turning.” Doctors and clinicians should be consulted for further information, as treatment for insomnia varies with each individual.
In treatment for insomnia, alcohol and caffeine should be eliminated from one’s diet. People sometimes imbibe in alcohol as a method to induce sleep. Unfortunately, this is not a proper treatment for insomnia and may be counterproductive, as alcohol has been shown to interfere with REM sleep. Caffeine is a stimulant which can lead to sleep deprivation. If consumed, caffeine should be eliminated from one’s diet by 2:30pm.
In 95 percent of cases involving insomnia, sleeping tablets and sedatives are prescribed by a physician. An unfortunate side effect of these drugs can include an increased dependence on them as tolerance is built in the body. Generally speaking, people taking prescription drugs should have their dosages tapered down to avoid the effects of withdrawal. Drowsiness and cognitive impairment are also side effects of prescription sleeping tablets; these effects are often amplified in older individuals and can make driving and working heavy machinery especially hazardous. As always, a medical professional should be consulted when seeking treatment for insomnia.
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