"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Follow Poodle? Alternatives to prescribed sleep medications

A recent author once wrote, “Night is the hardest time to be alive and 4 a.m. knows all my secrets.” If you haven't been sleeping well shortly, this quote may feel like your recent reality. You may even end up tempted by the pleased poodles and free-floating butterflies on TV begging you to ask your doctor about their recent insomnia medication. But, before answering their siren call, you stopped. You will notice that the unwanted side effects wear off quickly and are obscure. You worry about being “hooked” on them without end. Ask yourself, is there one other solution to sleep higher? The answer is an emphatic “yes!”

CBT: The Clear Winner for Insomnia

Sleep experts now agree that behavioral (non-drug) techniques ought to be the primary line of treatment for many cases of chronic insomnia. The best-studied of those is cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT. The goal of CBT is to handle harmful behaviors and false beliefs which might be causing and maintaining insomnia. Components of CBT include restricting time in bed, eliminating negative associations between sleep deprivation and the bedroom environment, and correcting any negative or incorrect beliefs about sleep.

In large-scale studies, CBT has been shown to be as effective as drug treatments for insomnia. Importantly, improvements in sleep are more durable after CBT than after drug treatment or a mixture of drug treatment and CBT. Until recently, the usage of CBT, which generally requires several in-person sessions, has been limited by a scarcity of qualified therapists. However, studies now show that temporary interventions (using only 1-2 sessions) in addition to therapy delivered through online programs may be just as effective as traditional CBT.

Relaxation therapy will also be effective in treating insomnia. However, although improving sleep hygiene (eg, limiting caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, and exercise near bedtime) is effective when added to CBT, larger treatment plans It isn't effective when used alone, without being a part of

What about other complementary therapies?

Nontraditional or complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practices are utilized by about 45% of Americans with insomnia. Such treatments include herbs or natural products (eg, valerian, melatonin), yoga, and acupuncture. But are CAM treatments effective and price your money and time?

Unfortunately, there have been relatively few studies of CAM treatments for insomnia, and most of them haven't been well conducted. However, acupressure, tai chi, yoga, and other mind-body activities could also be effective, however the status of acupuncture and L-tryptophan is unclear. There is little or no evidence that herbal mixtures (valerian, chamomile, kava, willow), aromatherapy, and homeopathy are helpful. As for melatonin, it is beneficial for treating circadian or body rhythm disorders. Its role as a treatment for insomnia has not been clearly established.

The bottom line is to get more shuteye — with none butterflies

Chronic insomnia affects about 10% of Americans and ends in poor quality of life. Behavioral or non-drug approaches are effective and ought to be the initial treatment. Some treatments for CAM have been shown to be effective, but most aren't. Additionally, try to be aware that the majority claims in regards to the effectiveness of CAM treatments for insomnia aren't supported by good evidence.