Sleep. Eating, drinking, and breathing are as crucial to our well-being. Yet, for many of us, a good night’s sleep can be as elusive as a mirage in the desert. Insomnia, a sleep disorder that keeps people awake, is a common problem that plagues many people. “The best way to deal with insomnia,” you may ask, “especially when it’s from anxiety?” Or perhaps you’re wondering, “What to do when insomnia attacks at night?” Well, fret not. The Armygymnastics Way is here to guide you through the night.
First, let’s debunk a common misconception: insomnia isn’t just about being unable to sleep. It’s a complex issue with roots often deep in stress, medical conditions, and medication side effects. Addressing these underlying issues can pave the way to restful sleep for many people. If these measures don’t work, your doctor may recommend cognitive-behavioral therapy, medications, or both, to help improve relaxation and sleep.
The most effective first-line treatment for insomnia is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I). This technique helps you control or eliminate the negative thoughts and actions that keep you awake, making it practical or even more effective than sleep medications. The cognitive part of CBT-I teaches you to recognize and change beliefs that affect your ability to sleep. In addition, it can help you control or eliminate negative thoughts and worries that keep you awake, stopping the cycle of worrying so much about getting to sleep that you can’t fall asleep.
The behavioral part of CBT-I helps you develop good sleep habits and avoid behaviors that keep you from sleeping well. For instance, stimulus control therapy is a method that helps remove factors that condition your mind to resist sleep. Establish a consistent bedtime and wake time, abstain from napping, and use your bed exclusively for rest and sex. A coach may advise that if you can’t fall asleep within 20 minutes, you should leave the bedroom and only return when you start to feel sleepy. Relaxation techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation, biofeedback, and breathing exercises are ways to reduce anxiety at bedtime.
Sleep restriction therapy decreases the time you spend in bed and avoids daytime naps, causing partial sleep deprivation, which makes you more tired the next night. Once your sleep has improved, your time in bed For some individuals, it may be necessary to use prescription medications while gradually increasing sleep duration. These sleeping pills can help you get to sleep, stay asleep, or both. However, doctors generally don’t recommend relying on prescription sleeping pills for over a few weeks, but several medications. While some medications have approval for long-term use, over-the-counter sleep aids, which contain antihistamines that can induce tiredness, are not designed for regular use. Talk to your doctor before taking these, as antihistamines may cause side effects, such as daytime sleepiness, dizziness, confusion, cognitive decline, and difficulty urinating, which may worsen in older adults.
At Armygymnastics, we believe in an all-rounded approach to tackling insomnia. It’s not just about the hours you sleep but also about the quality of sleep, the balance of your lifestyle, and the state of your mental health. While the strategies mentioned above can prove beneficial, it’s important to remember that every person is unique, and what works for one might not work for another. Therefore, finding a routine and a set of strategies that work best for you is crucial.
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