Is it Possible to Cure Insomnia?
You may suffer from insomnia if you have difficulty falling and staying asleep. Sleep experts estimate between 10% and 30% of adults endure this condition. Is there a cure of insomnia? Lets take a look at a few things first.
While there is no best treatment for insomnia, many options are available depending on the type and severity of your insomnia.
Two Types of Insomnia
Short-Term or Acute insomnia is typically situational, only lasts for three months, and may improve by taking straightforward steps towards better sleep. This strategy is often the first step in treating insomnia.
Without successful treatment, acute insomnia can become Chronic Insomnia, the failure to fall or stay asleep at least three nights each week for more than three months.
The first step in treatment is to seek a diagnosis. Determining the type and origins of your sleep issues is essential to crafting the most effective treatment strategies. Your primary care physician has all your records and understands your health history, making them an ideal first choice.
The criteria for an insomnia diagnosis include the following:
- Difficulty falling or staying asleep.
- Reluctance to go to bed.
- Awakening earlier than you want.
Experiencing these symptoms for at least three months, even with sufficient opportunity and time for rest, indicate the potential for chronic insomnia. Having one or more of the following daytime issues is also a necessary component for a diagnosis of chronic insomnia.
- Moodiness and Irritability
- Daytime Sleepiness
- Fatigue or Despondency
- Low Energy or Motivation
- Problems with Memory or Focus
- Behavioral Issues like Aggression and Impulsiveness
- Poor Performance in Family, Academic, Social, or Occupational Settings
Keeping a sleep diary for a week or two before your appointment will help your doctor reach an accurate diagnosis more easily.
Usually, your doctor will refer you for an overnight sleep study at a sleep center to monitor your rest with body sensors. Also, a doctor might recommend actigraphy (wearing a body sensor while sleeping for up to two weeks) or blood tests to eliminate any underlying medical condition as the cause.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I)
Because it does not hold the potential health risks or side effects of medications, CBT-I is the primary treatment for insomnia. This method helps people identify their anxieties regarding sleep and replace them with healthier attitudes and beliefs.
One or more of the following techniques are also often a component of this therapy.
Frequently, insomnia sufferers have anxiety at the thought of going to sleep. Only lying down when you feel tired, using your bed exclusively for sleep and sex, and arising at the same time each morning are typical strategies of stimulus control.
Sleep Education and Hygiene
Understanding and amplifying behaviors beneficial to sleep quantity and quality while abandoning those that cause sleep issues are the purpose of sleep hygiene and education.
Sleep Compression and Restriction
Sleep compression is a more gradual process than sleep restriction, but these two techniques aim to cut back the time you spend awake in bed.
There are various techniques for relaxation, including progressive muscle relaxation, breathing exercises, meditation, and yoga. Biofeedback can also help provide insight regarding heart and breathing rates, blood pressure, and other critical indicators.
Sleep medications are usually a last resort after CBT-I and other strategies prove unsuccessful in treating insomnia. Generally, these medications fall into one of the following categories.
Five BZDs have FDA approval for treating insomnia. Due to their potential for abuse and dependency, these drugs are not typically a component of chronic insomnia treatment. Patients can also develop tolerance to benzodiazepines.
Z drugs offer similar relief as BZDs but with fewer adverse effects and potential for abuse.
As the light fades, our body produces the hormone melatonin, which relaxes and makes us sleepy. Certain medications can stimulate this response and aid in falling asleep, typically with less severe effects than BZD or Z drugs.
Orexin Receptor Antagonist
Orexins are the neurotransmitters responsible for sensations of sleepiness and wakefulness. Suvorexant is an orexin receptor antagonist suitable for treating both onset or maintenance of insomnia.
Off Label Treatments
Often, medications are helpful in treating issues other than those for which they receive initial approval. Certain antipsychotic and antidepressant drugs can also be beneficial in treating insomnia.
Numerous medications are available without prescription that may be helpful in falling or staying asleep. For instance, particular antihistamines and melatonin supplements are readily available in many retail outlets.
Valerian and Kava are two popular options for natural sleep aids. However, recent studies find that these natural options may not be as safe as we once believed. Valerian and Kava each have links to adverse side effects.
Although over-the-counter and natural options don’t require a prescription, it is best to check with your doctor regarding their use as they might interfere with other medications or be a poor choice for your specific health situation.
Can insomnia be cured?|
Absolutely, suffering from insomnia does not need to be a life sentence. There are numerous options for treating insomnia, but tackling it alone can be a lift too heavy for one individual.
Start with your doctor, keep a sleep diary, and discuss your issues frankly and honestly at your appointment. Your doctor can provide a clear diagnosis and recommend a course of treatment with a possible referral to a sleep specialist.
Some fundamental lifestyle changes, good sleep hygiene, and an awareness of your underlying issues can often resolve your insomnia. Chronic insomnia is more severe and can still be mitigated and cured with the help of a qualified sleep specialist.
Sleep Science Academy’s team of professional sleep coaches and our highly successful, unique, and empowering program are helping countless individuals overcome their sleep challenges.
Acquiring the help and support of a professional sleep coach can make the journey and the results more rewarding and straightforward. Support is crucial; a coach can help you identify the specific perceptions and beliefs keeping you up at night.
If resolving your insomnia or other sleep challenges seems like a dream come true, contact us today and schedule your complimentary sleep consultation to speak with one of our professional coaches, gain insight and start down the path of better sleep and more productive days.
Follow this link to learn more about Dynamic Sleep Recalibration (DSR) and how our program can help.