Insomnia Treatment

Using Behavioral Techniques That Can Treat Insomnia

For chronic insomnia, your healthcare provider may recommend behavioral techniques to improve sleep, including:
 
  • Relaxation therapy
  • Sleep restriction therapy
  • Reconditioning.
     
Relaxation Therapy
One behavioral technique used as an insomnia treatment is relaxation therapy. There are specific and effective techniques that can reduce or eliminate anxiety and body tension. As a result, the person's mind is able to stop "racing," the muscles can relax, and restful sleep can occur. It usually takes practice to learn these techniques and to achieve effective relaxation.
 
Sleep Restriction Therapy
Some people suffering from insomnia spend too much time in bed trying (unsuccessfully) to sleep. They may benefit from a sleep restriction program that at first allows only a few hours of sleep during the night. Gradually the time is increased until a more normal night's sleep is achieved.
 
Reconditioning
Another treatment that may help some people with insomnia is to recondition them to associate the bed and bedtime with sleep. For most people, this means not using their beds for any activities other than sleep and sex.
 
As part of the reconditioning process, the person is usually advised to go to bed only when sleepy. If unable to fall asleep, the person is told to get up, stay up until sleepy, and then return to bed. Throughout this process, the person should avoid naps and wake up and go to bed at the same time each day. Eventually the person's body will be conditioned to associate the bed and bedtime with sleep.
 

Insomnia Information

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