Insomnia or sleeplessness is a major problem these days. As we have more and more electronic devices to stimulate us, our quality of sleep seems to be getting lower and lower.
There’s so much to do and that can be done, that people simply don’t stop thinking about their next day, as they lie in bed, languishing for hours.
So how do you know if you have insomnia?
If you’ve had three or more nights in a week for more than a month, where you slept less than 4 to 6 hours, and you had a hard time falling asleep or remaining asleep, then you should get checked for insomnia.
But what if you have it? Are treatments available?
Yes, they are.
Majority of people with sleep issues can be helped quite easily if they asked for it.
Sadly, people use that time of the night when they can’t sleep, in order to work even more – which makes it almost impossible to go back to sleep again because the brain is fully stimulated again.
Treatments for insomnia include medications and behaviour therapy.
Side effects of medications
Possible side effects of these medications include:
and rebound insomnia.
Sleep-walking, sleep-driving, sleep-eating, memory lapses, and hallucinations have also been reported.
Added to this, there is always the risk of dependency and abuse of the drug.
Psychotherapy for insomnia is better option rather than taking pills
Keeping all this in mind, psychotherapy for insomnia seems like a better option.
Therapy involves many approaches, but most of the research is showing that CBT or cognitive behaviour therapy for insomnia works well.
The behavioural part of insomnia is treated by using sleep hygiene methods and correcting faulty sleep habits.
This means that catering to the distractions available around bedtime, level of eating and activity, as well as not sleeping in the day.
Sometimes, not sleeping in the day and also not sleeping till midnight can be very tiring, but after that one week of struggle, the sleep cycle usually fixes itself.
The cognitive part involves working on thoughts about sleep as well as working on thoughts that may occur when one is in bed, and both these thoughts interrupt sleep.
Further, the cognitive part of therapy also addresses concern about work, work-life balance, relationships and other concerns of life that may be leading to distress and sleeplessness.