In many cases, a cure for insomnia exists, but it is not the same for all people. Your cure will depend on factors such as the type of insomnia you have, as well as your age and general health. Examples of insomnia solutions include developing good sleep habits, using certain behavioral techniques, and treating the underlying problem.
Fortunately, there are several cures for insomnia. The treatment your doctor recommends will be based on:
- How long the insomnia has lasted (short-term versus chronic)
- The possible cause (see Insomnia Causes)
- Your age and general health.
In some cases, insomnia can be cured simply with time. This is usually the case for short-term insomnia. For example, if insomnia is due to a temporary change in the sleep/wake schedule, as with jet lag, the person's biological clock will often get back to normal on its own.
In many cases, mild insomnia can be cured by improving sleep habits. Some tips for better sleep include the following:
- Keep a regular sleep-wake cycle. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine in the four to six hours before bedtime.
- Don't exercise within three hours of bedtime. Exercising five or six hours before bedtime, however, may help you sleep more soundly.
- Don't eat large meals within two hours of bedtime.
- Don't take a nap later than 3 p.m.
- Sleep in a dark, quiet room with a comfortable temperature.
- If you can't fall asleep within 20 minutes, do a quiet activity somewhere else and return to bed when you're sleepy.
- Try to start winding down 30 minutes before bedtime with a relaxing pre-sleep ritual, such as a warm bath, soft music, or reading.
(Click Good Sleep Habits for more suggestions.)