How to treat insomnia?

DO YOU SLEEP ENOUGH?

It is estimated that  to recover properly. That said, a small proportion of the population consists of “little sleepers,” who only need four or five hours to regain their strength.

CAUSES OF INSOMNIA

When you have health problems, it is sometimes more difficult to get some sleep or to make it restful. Many conditions can contribute to a sleep disorder . Here are some examples:

  • acute or chronic pain;

  • restless leg syndrome;

  • and other respiratory diseases;

  • mental illnesses;

  • digestive diseases;

  • rheumatism.

In addition, many other factors may explain a sleep disorder, including:

  • the consumption of alcohol, drugs or other stimulant substances;

  • jet lag or variable hours of work;

  • a great period of stress, during a bereavement or divorce for example;

  • an unsuitable environment for sleep

  • stimulating activities in the evening (intense exercise, intellectual work, etc.);

  • the use of certain drugs.

NON-DRUG TREATMENTS

The first step in addressing an insomnia problem is to identify the cause or factors that can contribute to it and eliminate them when possible. For example, controlling an underlying disease can sometimes solve the problem. In addition, if you think that your sleep difficulties are due to taking a medicatio . He can offer you solutions.

Once this step is completed, it is desirable to turn to non-drug measures . Several can be considered, including:

  • Having a healthy lifestyle and good sleep hygiene is the foundation of quality sleep. Find out about this subject by consulting a health professional, the Internet or books dedicated to it. Here are some examples of tips you might find:

    • Do not drink coffee before going to bed.

    • Exercise regularly during the day.

    • Do not take snacks or hearty meals during the evening.

    • Refrain from napping during the day.

  •  Since insomnia often goes hand in hand with stress, it may be beneficial to focus on certain relaxation techniques such as autogenic training (Schultz’s method), meditation, biofeedback or music therapy.

  • Start a psychotherapy . Psychotherapy can contribute to your well-being in many ways. It can, among other things, reduce your anxiety level and help you manage stress better. It is also possible that it helps you live better with other health problems that sometimes contribute to insomnia, such as depression.

  • Visit a clinic specializing in sleep disorders . Health professionals working in this type of clinic can do an in-depth assessment of your situation to determine the source of the problem and suggest effective solutions.

Non-medicinal treatments

DRUG TREATMENTS

Turning to medication should always be a last-resort solution after trying all the other measures described above. There are different types of insomnia medications:

  • Natural products

Although their effectiveness is not officially recognized, some natural products are prized for their positive effects on sleep. This is the case, for example, with melatonin. It is a hormone already present in the human body. It plays a role in the regulation of circadian rhythm. Blackness stimulates its production and release in the body.

Thus, the use of melatonin is usually done to reduce sleep problems related to circadian rhythm disturbance. Its use is also observed in people suffering from jet lag related to jet lag or working hours.

Melatonin has side effects and a risk of interaction with other drugs prescribed or used without a prescription. Consultation with your healthcare professional is recommended before using.

Natural products, as is the case with any medication, can cause side effects. Consult your pharmacist for more information about them.

  • Over-the-counter sleep aids

Non-prescription medications are available at the pharmacy for the relief of occasional nighttime insomnia. These contain a sedative substance (which causes sleep) called diphenhydramine .

The manufacturers of these products recommend not to use them for a long time. Ask your pharmacist for advice for optimal and safe use. If you suffer from persistent insomnia, consult your doctor.

  • Benzodiazepines

For many years, this class of drugs has been the most prescribed by doctors to treat insomnia problems. It is also used for the treatment of anxiety disorders .

Although very effective, these drugs have certain disadvantages, such as a risk of addiction and dependence, and have side effects: drowsiness or daytime fatigue, memory problems, decreased reflexes, and so on. Note that medications prescribed for insomnia should always be used at the lowest effective dose and for the shortest period possible.

  • Other sleeping pills

Other medications than benzodiazepines may be prescribed. Their effects often resemble those of benzodiazepines. Equally interesting in terms of effectiveness, they too can, for the most part, cause adverse effects and long-term addiction or dependence. They should therefore be used with caution.

  • Other classes of drugs

Finally, other classes of drugs are more and more often prescribed to combat insomnia disorders. It may be drugs belonging, for example, to the class of antidepressants , anxiolytics or antipsychotics . They are used to reduce anxiety or cause drowsiness.

The interest of these drugs often lies in the fact that they make it possible to treat a concomitant problem or to avoid the risk of addiction or dependence associated with sleeping pills.

In conclusion, if you suffer from insomnia, do not sit idly by. Nobody should be deprived of good nights of rest. Many health professionals can help and advise you, including your pharmacist. Who knows, consulting them will perhaps facilitate your passage to the land of dreams!

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