Acute and chronic insomnia can lead to severe sleep loss, which can have both short-term and long-term consequences. For milder insomnia, you can usually cure the condition by implementing a few different lifestyle remedies. For moderate to severe insomnia, you may need to try medical solutions or alternative medicine in order to cure the condition completely. Keep reading to learn more.
Method 1 of 3: Lifestyle Remedies
1Avoid substances that can make insomnia worse. Certain substances can make insomnia worse, so if you suffer from acute or chronic insomnia, the first step in curing your condition is avoiding these substances.
- Stimulants like caffeine and tobacco are the worst culprits an should be avoided at least 8 hours before bedtime.
- Some unrelated medications can trigger a case of insomnia. This is especially true of cold and allergy medications.
- Even though alcohol may help you fall asleep, alcohol-induced sleep tends to put you in a lighter state of sleep that you are more likely to awake from.
2Create a bedtime routine. Find activities that help you relax and do these activities consistently before going to bed.
- For instance, you may consider reading a book or taking a bath.
- Avoid activities that stimulate the brain, however, like watching television or going on the computer. The bright light from these screens can actually alter your circadian rhythms, which control your sleep-wake cycle, making it harder to fall asleep.
3Engage your body’s relaxation response. Certain activities, like meditation, yoga, and progressive muscle relaxation can cause your body to relax naturally. Try doing an activity like this an hour or so before going to bed.
- Progressive muscle relaxation can be especially effective and simple. Lie down on the floor or on your bed. Tense each muscle group in your body, starting from your feet and working your way up to the top of your head. Hold each tensed muscle group for 10 seconds before relaxing and moving on to the next group.
4Stay off your bed during the day. If you find it hard to get comfortable in bed at night, only use your bed for sleeping and sex.
- Do not read, watch television, or do anything else in your bed.
- By associating your bed strictly with sleep and sex, you can give your brain and body a clear, direct signal at bedtime that it is time to wind down and go to sleep. It may take a little while before you notice the effects, but this works well as a long-term cure for insomnia.
5Avoid daytime napping. Your insomnia may make it harder to stay awake during the day, but in order to cure your insomnia, you will need to cut napping from your life.
- Sleeping during the day makes it harder to sleep at night.
- If you must take a nap, limit yourself to 30 minutes and take your nap sometime before 3 PM.
6Avoid exercise before bedtime. When you exercise, you build up adrenaline. It can take hours for adrenaline to wear off, and as a result, moderate to intense exercise done in the evening can actually make it harder for you to sleep.
- Exercise can improve your ability to sleep if done earlier in the day, though. When performed in the morning or afternoon, exercise can give you energy for the rest of the day, allowing you to do more and wear yourself down more by nightfall.
7Have sex. There is medical evidence that suggests sex before sleep can actually lead to a more restful night.
- After sexual stimulation, a man’s body produces prolactin and oxytocin, two hormones associated with sleep.
- Similarly, a woman’s body produces even higher levels of oxytocin than a man’s body produces.
8Skip the midnight snack. Eating an hour or two before bedtime can actually make it harder to sleep. Heavy meals packed with calories are especially bad for insomnia because your digestive system and body has to work harder to process that food while you sleep.
- If you feel too hungry to fall asleep, try drinking a glass of water or warm milk instead of indulging in a snack. These liquids can help fill your empty stomach without causing further sleep problems.
9Make your bedroom more comfortable. Insomnia often disappears if you can drown out distracting noises and make things nice and dark. Comfortable bedding is also essential.
- If you cannot make your room quiet, you could try using ear plugs. If ear plugs do not work, though, you could also try using a white noise machine to create soothing background noise capable of drowning out other, more distracting noises. You can use something marketed as a white noise machine, or you could also run a dehumidifier or air purifier as you sleep.
- Use black out shades to prevent light from coming in through your windows and wear a sleep mask to block out any light distracting you from inside the room.
10Get out of bed. If you lie in bed for a while only to find yourself more awake then ever, get up and go do something. Studies suggest that insomnia can worsen if you lie in bed thinking about your insomnia.
- Do something relaxing once you get out of bed, like practicing yoga, reading a book, or listening to music. You can even try doing some housework, if that helps calm you down and allows you to distract yourself from your lack of sleep.
Method 2 of 3: Alternative Medicine
1Try acupuncture. A skilled acupuncturist can use the practice to target key areas of your body responsible for your insomnia.
- Acupuncture can increase nighttime melatonin production, which can help treat patients with anxiety-induced insomnia.
- Acupuncture can also relieve chronic pain often linked to cases of chronic insomnia or sleeplessness.
2Try valerian. Valerian root is an herbal remedy frequently used as a sleep remedy. You can take it regularly for one or two weeks to cure short-term insomnia.
- Note that the quality of these supplements can vary.
3Take melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone produced by the body at night. Melatonin supplements can put you to sleep and keep you asleep through the night.
- Melatonin is used most often by people who go to bed late or who suffer from jet-lag. It is a fairly short-term cure, but it can be very effective.
4Use aromatherapy. Essential oils and aromatherapy oils can calm the mind and stop insomnia in its tracks.
- Lavender is one of the best natural sleep aids around, but you can also try spikenard, vetiver, frankincense, myrrh, and clary sage.
- Dab a few drops of these oils onto a bathroom tissue and inhale the scent, taking 10 to 15 breaths. Do this shortly before going to bed.
EditMethod 3 of 3: Medical and Professional Remedies
1Undergo cognitive behavior therapy. Talk to a professional therapist about cognitive behavior therapy designed for chronic insomnia. A therapist can help you overcome the underlying causes keeping you awake.
- Cognitive behavior therapy involves sleep education, sleep hygiene, relaxation training, cognitive control, psychotherapy, and biofeedback.
- Therapy presents a good option if you want a professional, trusted medical treatment but are not quite ready to try sleeping pills or cannot use sleeping pills due to some other health concern.
- Additionally, since CBT targets the underlying conditions leading to your insomnia, you may have more success in curing your insomnia long-term by using it.
2Ask your doctor about prescription medications. There are medications for both short-term and long-term insomnia. Consult with your doctor to determine if medication is necessary and which might be the best for you.
- Note that some insomnia medications can be habit-forming and may come with unpleasant side effects, including low blood pressure, nausea, anxiety, daytime drowsiness, and sleepwalking.
- First-choice sleeping pills for short-term insomnia include eszopiclone, ramelteon, zaleplon, and zolpidem.
- Additional prescription medications used to treat insomnia include diazepam, lorazepam , and quazepam.
3Take an antihistamine. An over-the-counter antihistamine is generally used to treat allergies, but antihistamines also cause drowsiness, which may help you fall asleep if you suffer from acute insomnia.
- Note, however, that antihistamines affect everyone differently. Some people can take an antihistamine and sleep through the night, while others may wake up halfway through the night.
4Treat the underlying cause. Chronic insomnia is usually linked to an underlying mental or physical problem. The best way to cure your insomnia is to cure or treat the underlying condition causing it.
- Mental conditions responsible for insomnia can include depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD, and chronic anxiety.
- Medical problems linked to insomnia include asthma, allergies, hyperthyroidism, acid reflux, cancer, kidney disease, chronic pain, and Parkinson’s disease.
- Certain medications can also cause insomnia, including antidepressants, corticosteroids, thyroid hormone, diuretics, and blood pressure medications.
Via : wikihow