Insomnia does not have to be your life

Q:  Are there any tricks or tips to fall asleep and stay asleep?  I’ve been suffering from insomnia for about 6 months now and am desperate for sleep.  I try to tire myself out during the day and it doesn’t seem to help much.  I am very scared this is my life now.

A:  Are there tricks to help yourself sleep?  You bet.  Dozens and dozens.

But the best and most effective strategy is not to take a piecemeal approach with various tricks, but rather to use a comprehensive approach that effectively addresses all the root causes for sleeplessness at one time.

The root causes for insomnia can be many, and they are unique to you, as they are to each and every one of us.  These root causes can be an identifiable medical issue, ranging from allergies to apnea.  Either treating or ruling out underlying medical issues is an important first step.  This is why a checkup with your doctor is probably a good idea, if you haven’t had one recently.

More often than not, however, insomnia has no identifiable medical basis.  Most often, insomnia is primary, meaning there are no strictly medical issues underlying the sleeplessness.

Such nonmedical root causes include common emotional issues like anxiety, stress, and negative thoughts about sleep.  These negative thought patterns are potent.  They can very effectively fuel and sustain insomnia.

Then there’s a whole other category of nonmedical root causes having to do with behaviors, meaning things we do or in some cases don’t do — such as bad sleep habits.  These behaviors often undermine our ability to sleep well.

But rest assured all of these issues are treatable and can be resolved.  When it comes to employing various sleep tricks and tips, the best results usually come from using them as part of a comprehensive sleep improvement plan.

The best comprehensive approach to insomnia is contained in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) applied specifically to insomnia.  A good CBT-based sleep training program will enable you to comprehensively address both the mental or cognitive issues while improving your sleep habits and behaviors.  In CBT, both cognitive and behavioral methods combine synergistically and powerfully to help improve sleep.

Insomnia does not have to be your life.  Using CBT methods, many people who have suffered horribly from it for years, even decades, found ways to make it better.  CBT helps most people who try it.  Many become normal sleepers again.  There is every reason to believe you will be helped too.

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

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