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Non Medical Treatment For Insomnia

Toh Shannen

Insomnia is defined by WebMD as a sleep disorder that is characterized by difficulty in falling asleep and in staying asleep. Experts suggest that for those people who experience insomnia as a pattern should seek professional help, especially if they feel fatigues during the day. Insomnia should not be disregarded as just a regular problem in sleeping because it can adversely affect daily life activities. A mere difficulty in sleeping only lasts for a short period of time and mostly when the body and mind are adjusting to new environment, however if this difficulty in sleeping starts longer and has become a regular occurrence, a professional help should be especially sought for. 

But there are also non-medical treatments for insomnia which involves cognitive and behavioral steps which can be self-taught, but for others are better effective with the assistance of a therapist or sleep specialist. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the psychological and behavioral techniques that can be helpful for treating insomnia includes relaxation training, stimulus control, sleep restriction, and cognitive behavioral therapy.

Relaxation training, or progressive muscle relaxation, give a person the grounding on how to systematically tense and relax muscles in different areas of the body. This is aimed at helping the person to calm his body and induce sleep. Breathing exercises, mindfulness, meditation techniques, and guided imagery are among the other relaxation techniques that help many people sleep. These techniques can help people who are having a hard time to sleep in the middle of the night.

Another technique that can be done is the stimulus control which aids to build an association between the bedroom and sleep by limiting the type of activities allowed in the bedroom. A very common example of stimulus control is the act of going to bed if the person has been awake for 20 minutes or more, which helps in breaking an unhealthy association between the bedroom and wakefulness. It is also helpful to apply sleep restriction which takes in a strict schedule of bedtimes and wake times and limits time in bed to only when a person is sleeping.

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