How can I cure my insomnia?

Q:  “I am have a rough time sleeping.  Been going on for several months now.  I am irritable and short-tempered during the day, and feel tired most of the time.  I don’t understand this because I have no other health issues.  I just want my life back.  How can I cure this?”

If there’s comfort in numbers, you should know there are a great many people who suffer from insomnia.  Some studies suggest up to 70% of the population has trouble sleeping at some point in their lives, sometimes for years, even decades.  But also rest assured there are ways to help yourself sleep that are permanent, completely natural, and drug free.

It’s very important to understand that insomnia isn’t a disease, it’s only a symptom of something else going on deeper that is causing the sleep problems.  So to improve sleep, try to address the root cause … which is not sleep itself.

The root causes for insomnia can either be medical or nonmedical. Medical roots for insomnia range widely, from allergies to apnea.  This is why we suggest a checkup is a good idea for anyone who is struggling with sleep.  You want to either treat or rule out any medical basis for insomnia.

Sometimes excessive or overwhelming levels of stress or anxiety beyond normal are considered a medical issue.  These can usually be successfully treated by a combination of drugs and other forms of therapy that reduce levels of stress and anxiety.  Better sleep typically results.

When insomnia has a medical basis it is known as secondary insomnia, or comorbid insomnia . If you have secondary insomnia, most likely you will need the help of a healthcare professional who will assess you, understand your unique medical history, take into account any medications you are taking, and so forth.  He or she will then diagnose you.  That level of professional help you just can’t duplicate elsewhere, and it’s well worth it.

For the vast majority of us, however, the root causes of insomnia are nonmedical, meaning no identifiable medical basis cause can be found.  This is also known as primary insomnia.  Although reliable survey statistics are limited, the numbers indicate primary insomnia affects well over 90% of those with sleeping problems.  So you are hardly alone.

The nonmedical roots of primary insomnia are typically are some combination of bad sleep habits and excessive worry about the idea of sleep.  This worry typically takes the form of negative, often distorted thoughts about sleep.  This is very common in those with insomnia.

And even in cases where insomnia is secondary, there usually is a large overlap with primary root causes.

To permanently cure primary insomnia you must go beyond pills or a strictly medical approach.  Pills, medicines, or supplements can’t touch the nommedical root causes for primary insomnia.  If you don’t change bad sleep habits, if you don’t address excessive worry about sleep, those issues are still there causing ongoing problems.

The gold standard treatment to permanently treat the root causes of primary insomnia is CBT — cognitive behavioral therapy.  When specifically applied to insomnia, it’s sometimes called CBT-I, or just CBT for sleep.

CBT for sleep is a group of common sense methods to help you address the nonmedical roots causes for insomnia.  The methods enable you to sleep better naturally, without needing drugs or supplements or pills of any kind.  And it works.  Most people who try it are helped, and many become normal sleepers again.

This we suggest is your best chance for a cure — permanently addressing the root causes, and re-enabling your natural built-in sleep system to work as it is intended.

Using CBT methods, you learn about the science of sleep, and how your mind and body have evolved to work together to support good sleep.  By using CBT methods, you learn how to use your internal biological clock to work with — not against — your natural circadian rhythm.

You also learn how to supercharge your sleep drive.  These two internal systems, sleep drive and biological clock, are together largely what controls sleep.

For more information on using CBT methods for better sleep, or to ask a sleep question, please feel free to to contact us.

Explore posts in the same categories: Health, Insomnia, sleep

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