How To Treat Insomnia Without Medication?

How To Treat Insomnia Without Medication
Lifestyle and home remedies – No matter what your age, insomnia usually is treatable. The key often lies in changes to your routine during the day and when you go to bed. These tips may help. Basic tips:

Stick to a sleep schedule. Keep your bedtime and wake time consistent from day to day, including on weekends. Stay active. Regular activity helps promote a good night’s sleep. Schedule exercise at least a few hours before bedtime and avoid stimulating activities before bedtime. Check your medications. If you take medications regularly, check with your doctor to see if they may be contributing to your insomnia. Also check the labels of OTC products to see if they contain caffeine or other stimulants, such as pseudoephedrine. Avoid or limit naps. Naps can make it harder to fall asleep at night. If you can’t get by without one, try to limit a nap to no more than 30 minutes and don’t nap after 3 p.m. Avoid or limit caffeine and alcohol and don’t use nicotine. All of these can make it harder to sleep, and effects can last for several hours. Don’t put up with pain. If a painful condition bothers you, talk to your doctor about options for pain relievers that are effective enough to control pain while you’re sleeping. Avoid large meals and beverages before bed. A light snack is fine and may help avoid heartburn. Drink less liquid before bedtime so that you won’t have to urinate as often.

At bedtime:

Make your bedroom comfortable for sleep. Only use your bedroom for sex or sleep. Keep it dark and quiet, at a comfortable temperature. Hide all clocks in your bedroom, including your wristwatch and cellphone, so you don’t worry about what time it is. Find ways to relax. Try to put your worries and planning aside when you get into bed. A warm bath or a massage before bedtime can help prepare you for sleep. Create a relaxing bedtime ritual, such as taking a hot bath, reading, soft music, breathing exercises, yoga or prayer. Avoid trying too hard to sleep. The harder you try, the more awake you’ll become. Read in another room until you become very drowsy, then go to bed to sleep. Don’t go to bed too early, before you’re sleepy. Get out of bed when you’re not sleeping. Sleep as much as you need to feel rested, and then get out of bed. Don’t stay in bed if you’re not sleeping.

Contents

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What are some non-medication approaches to insomnia?

Causes of insomnia What constitutes ‘normal’ sleep varies considerably between different cultures and demographic groups. For example healthy elderly individuals sleep less at night compared to young and middle-aged individuals, and may make up for reduced night-time sleep by spending more time napping during the day.

Chronic insomnia affects at least one third of the world’s population. Insomnia is a major public health issue because it results in enormous losses in work productivity and significantly increases the risk of work-place and motor vehicle accidents. Diverse social, cultural, psychological and biological factors affect sleep and most cases of insomnia are caused by multiple factors.

Approximately two thirds of individuals treated for any mental health problem complain of chronic insomnia. Individuals who struggle with depression or anxiety or who abuse alcohol or drugs are especially at risk of insomnia. Depending on the particular drug insomnia may be a direct result of substance abuse or a symptom of withdrawal following a prolonged period of abuse.

Insomnia is a core symptom of bipolar mania and post- traumatic stress disorder ( PTSD ) and frequently accompanies medical problems such as chronic pain, sleep apnea, diabetes, lung diseases, thyroid disease, dementia and neurological disorders. Sleep apnea is a medical condition in which difficulty breathing when asleep causes frequent waking episodes throughout the night resulting in severe daytime sleepiness.

Sleep apnea is associated with a significantly increased risk of depressed mood, overweight and heart disease. Insomnia is a frequently reported adverse effect of many prescription medications. Individuals who do shift-work (i.e. whose work schedule begins late night and continues until early morning) or travel extensively across many time-zones often experience insomnia related to a disturbance in their ‘biological clock.’ Elderly persons who have serious medical or mental health problems are especially at risk of chronic insomnia.

Limitations and safety issues associated with conventional medication treatments of insomnia Prescription sedative-hypnotic medications such as benzodiazepines are used to treat 80 to 90% of all complaints of insomnia in Western countries. This practice has led to over-prescribing or inappropriate prescribing of potentially addictive sedative-hypnotics to millions of individuals.

Morning drowsiness, dizziness and headache are common adverse effects of benzodiazepines. Inappropriate long-term use or high doses of benzodiazepines frequently result in confusion, daytime somnolence and short-term memory impairment. Benzodiazepine use in the elderly is especially problematic because of the significantly increased risk of serious fall injuries associated with their use in this population.

  • Many antidepressants including doxepin (Siniquan™), trazodone (Desyrel™), and mirtazapine (Remeron™) are moderately sedating, and their use in the management of insomnia has steadily increased since the mid 1980s.
  • However, research findings suggest that antidepressants used to treat insomnia cause serious adverse effects more often compared to benzodiazepines, including elevated liver enzymes, dry mouth, nausea, weight gain, orthostatic hypotension, daytime sleepiness, and dizziness.
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Diphenhydramine (often sold under the trade name Benadryl TM ), a widely used over-the-counter antihistamine, is frequently recommended for insomnia because of its sedating side effects. In recent years so-called atypical antipsychotics with sedating side effect profiles have been increasingly used to manage insomnia in the absence of FDA approval for this clinical application, and in spite of the absence of findings from controlled trials supporting the efficacy and safety of these drugs for the treatment of insomnia.

  1. Atypical antipsychotic agents frequently prescribed for insomnia include quetiapine (Seroquel™) and olanzapine (Zyprexa™).
  2. In many cases the conventional pharmacologic management of insomnia is inappropriate or potentially unsafe because the person receiving treatment for a sleep problem has not disclosed ongoing alcohol abuse or prescription drug dependence, use of medications that interact with sedative-hypnotics, or the existence of medical conditions that make the use of benzodiazepines unsafe.

Meta-analyses of conventional treatment approaches suggest that some widely prescribed medications are probably more effective in the acute management of insomnia, while cognitive-behavioral approaches are probably more effective over the long term. Many non-medication approaches used to treat insomnia are safe and effective The limited effectiveness and safety issues associated with available mainstream medications used to treat insomnia invite serious consideration of non-medication approaches.

Simple changes in nutrition can significantly improve the quality of sleep and reduce daytime fatigue. Melatonin is especially effective for management of insomnia caused by disruption of circadian rhythms as in jet lag or shift work. Sustained-release preparations are most effective for increasing the duration of sleep while immediate-release formulations are most effective for individuals who have difficulty falling asleep.

Valerian root extract is widely used to self-treat insomnia. A systematic review of placebo -controlled studies of valerian extract for insomnia concluded that 600mg to 900mg taken at bedtime improves the quality of sleep and has few adverse effects. The naturally occurring amino acids L-tryptophan and 5-hydroxytryptophan are sedating at certain doses and are widely used by naturopaths to treat situational insomnia.

  • A special kind of electroencephalographic (EEG) biofeedback that employs alpha-theta training and provide feedback in the form of an individual’s unique “brain music” may be a more effective treatment of situational insomnia than progressive muscle relaxation.
  • Other non-medication approaches to insomnia include taking a sauna or hot bath before bedtime, acupuncture and mind-body therapies.

If you are struggling with insomnia, taking a medication that isn’t helping you sleep better, experiencing adverse effects to a sleep aid, or you simply can’t afford to continue taking a prescription sleep aid that is working you will benefit from my e-book Insomnia: The Integrative Mental Health Solution,

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What can I do to help my insomnia?

When to use sleep aids – Sleep aids are helpful in short-term situations, such as traveling or having a stressful work week. If all else fails, it’s OK to use a prescription sleep aid for chronic insomnia, Watson says. Ideally, you wouldn’t rely on medications to get to sleep, but if nothing else is working you might have to.

Should you take a sleep aid for chronic insomnia?

When to use sleep aids – Sleep aids are helpful in short-term situations, such as traveling or having a stressful work week. If all else fails, it’s OK to use a prescription sleep aid for chronic insomnia, Watson says. Ideally, you wouldn’t rely on medications to get to sleep, but if nothing else is working you might have to.

What should I avoid if I have insomnia?

Practice better sleep hygiene – There are lots of small things you can do to, Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time, even on weekends (we know, it’s hard). Try to get light exposure in the morning by opening a window or going outside for a short walk.

How to stop insomnia naturally and effectively without pills?

  • Keep Your Slumber Surroundings Tranquil: Your slumber surroundings are very important to your good sleep.
  • Go To Bed And Wake Up On Time: One of the ways on how to stop insomnia naturally is that you need to go to bed at the same
  • Avoid Caffein After 2 P.M: If you have some caffein,it takes about 12 hours to make caffein disappear completely.

What helps insomnia naturally?

  • Reach For Some Walnuts. Walnuts are good for heart health and add crunch and a dose of beneficial fat to all sorts of dishes,but they’ve also been found,
  • Make Sure You Get Enough Vitamin B6. ‘When we fall asleep,levels of serotonin rise and adrenaline levels fall.
  • Nosh on Bananas.
  • Try Tart Cherry Juice.
  • Befriend Basil.
  • Maximize Magnesium.

What is the strongest natural sleep aid?

  • Sleep Support Plus. If you’re looking for a solid night’s sleep with peaceful dreams,Sleep Support Plus could be the right product for you.
  • New Mood. Manufactured by a company called Onnit Labs,Inc,Onnit New Mood is a 100% organic supplement which is designed to eliminate daily stressors morning,afternoon,and night.
  • Sleep Wave.
  • VitalSleep.

What are the best sleeping remedies?

– Stick to a consistent sleep and wake time. – Deal with any anxieties before bedtime to avoid lying awake worrying. – Keep your bedroom dark, quiet and cool to create a comfortable sleeping environment. – Incorporate activity into your day. – Cut down on alcohol and avoid caffeine close to bedtime.