Insomnia is a condition that can be debilitating. It’s one of the most common sleep disorders, affecting an estimated 17 percent of Americans who experience difficulties sleeping at least three nights per week.
If you have insomnia, it may feel like you live with an unrelenting pain in your head or neck. The symptoms are not only uncomfortable but also interfere with your day-to-day life. You may wake up tired, groggy, and unable to focus on any tasks. In addition, you may suffer from headaches, irritability, anxiety, depression, and even thoughts of suicide.
The good news? We can help!
With over 4 million people worldwide living with some form of insomnia, there’s no doubt about the magnitude of this problem. Fortunately, we have access to the best treatments for insomnia, including medications and behavioral therapies.
As a licensed clinical psychologist, I often see patients suffering from insomnia. My approach to treatment includes both medication and therapy. If you’re struggling with insomnia, talk to me. Together we will find a solution to your issues so that you can get back to enjoying your life.
To learn more about how to treat insomnia, please read below.
What Causes Insomnia?
Insomnia is the problem that causes the problem of sleep for people. A person will get the idea of the causes and will get the results. The seroquel for sleep is the best option that will help in having the sound sleep for the required period. A person can take the medicine in the amount that will be best. Try of the person must be to reach the goals in effective manner.
There are many different causes of insomnia, including:
- Biological factors
- Other medical conditions
- Treatment of Insomnia
Although there are many ways to treat insomnia, medication remains the primary option. However, before prescribing anything, it’s important to rule out other possible causes of insomnia. For example, if you’ve been having trouble sleeping since childhood, it’s likely that genetics plays a role in your sleep disorder. This makes it difficult to address the issue without addressing the underlying cause of the problem.
There are several medications available to treat insomnia, including short-term sedatives such as Ambien (zolpidem), Lunesta (eszopiclone), and Rozerem (ramelteon). These drugs relax the nervous system, which helps promote better sleep.
Longer-term sedatives include antidepressants such as Wellbutrin XL (bupropion/nortriptyline) and Effexor XR (venlafaxine). They act directly on the brain to reduce stress and increase the production of serotonin, which promotes relaxation.
Antidepressants are generally considered safe when used appropriately. However, they do carry side effects such as dry mouth, constipation, changes in appetite, weight gain, and drowsiness.
Benzodiazepines, commonly known as sedatives or “sleeping pills,” are another popular choice for treating insomnia. Examples include Ativan (lorazepam), Valium (diazepam), and Xanax (alprazolam). Benzodiazepines work by binding to receptors in the brain to produce sedation. Although benzodiazepines are highly effective, they come with their own set of side effects that can include impaired memory, increased risk of falls, and dependence.
In summary, each type of drug has its pros and cons. Some work quickly while others take longer to kick in. In addition, some are more expensive than others. There are also many over-the-counter remedies that claim to help you fall asleep. While these products can be helpful, it’s important to remember that these supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA.
For example, melatonin is often recommended to help induce sleep. However, research shows that melatonin does nothing to improve sleep quality. Furthermore, melatonin has been linked to serious health problems, including liver damage, heart disease, cancer, birth defects, and death.
Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia
Behavioral therapy is a type of cognitive-behavioral counseling that focuses on changing maladaptive behaviors and thought processes related to insomnia. This type of therapy teaches patients to change things such as the way they think about their sleep patterns, what they do during the day, and how they respond to stressful situations.
- One example of a behavior therapy is stimulus control
teaching patients to use bedtime rituals such as reading or listening to music instead of watching TV or using the computer. Stimulus control focuses on reducing the amount of time spent doing activities that keep them awake.
- Another example of a behavior therapy is sleep restriction
teaching patients to follow a strict routine of going to bed at a particular time and waking up at a certain time every morning. Sleep restriction works by limiting the number of hours spent in bed each night.
- Finally, cognitive restructuring
a form of psychotherapy designed to correct irrational beliefs about sleep – is another type of behavioral therapy used to relieve insomnia. Cognitive restructuring involves correcting negative thoughts such as believing that insomnia means something bad about yourself.
Cognitive restructuring is often used with patients who suffer from a mental illness like major depressive disorder or generalized anxiety disorder.
- Lastly, mindfulness training
a type of meditation practice – is sometimes used to help manage insomnia. Mindfulness training involves focusing attention on the present moment and becoming aware of bodily sensations and emotions without judging them. This technique can help decrease emotional reactivity, which is associated with insomnia.
Medications Used to Treat Insomnia
While behavioral therapy alone can be effective, it’s not always enough. Medications are sometimes needed to help patients reach the full potential of behavioral therapy. Here are a few examples of medications used to treat insomnia.
Melatonin is a hormone produced naturally by the body at night. It helps regulate the circadian rhythm, which regulates our internal biological clock. Melatonin is the primary hormone responsible for inducing sleep. Most patients prefer natural melatonin because prescription melatonin comes with unwanted side effects. Natural melatonin is usually taken orally.
Zaleplon is a non-benzodiazepine hypnotic agent used to treat insomnia. Unlike other medications, zaleplon doesn’t affect GABA receptors in the brain. Instead, it acts on specific receptors called omega-1 receptors. Omega-1 receptors are found in areas of the brain involved with maintaining normal levels of alertness. Zaleplon is typically prescribed as a once-a-night pill.
Clomipramine is an antidepressant that can also help treat insomnia. Like other antidepressants, clomipramine binds to specific neurotransmitters in the brain, helping to reduce stress and anxiety. Clomipramine is generally prescribed as a once-a-night tablet.