According to the Journal Clinical Psychology, insomnia affects over 70 million Americans. Insomnia can be caused by a variety of conditions and causes including depression, asthma, prescription medications, diet, stress, and heart and breathing problems. Insomnia is described as the inability to fall asleep, even when tired, and difficulty staying asleep or getting restful sleep. This can cause difficulty for the affected person while attempting to perform everyday tasks, including holding a steady job, driving, or other miscellaneous tasks. Luckily, there is a variety of insomnia treatments to help those suffering from this problematic disorder.
The most common treatment for insomnia is pharmaceuticals including anti-anxiety and anti-depressant drugs and most commonly, sedatives both prescribed and over the counter. Thousands of people find these medications to be effective in treating their insomnia. Still others find that pills do not work or that they are unwilling to manage the side effects. Side effects vary between pills, but often include drowsiness, addiction, dry mouth, or trouble with your cognitive functions.
Natural Treatment for Insomnia
Meditation: Research has shown that meditation to encourage relaxation has been effective in assisting insomnia patients in getting to sleep faster, staying asleep longer, and woke up fewer times.
Cognitive Behavior Therapies: Another successful study revealed that patients undergoing cognitive behavior therapies, where the patients were taught to reset the systems in the body that help regulate sleep, had a 50-60% success rate in improved quality and quantity of sleep.
Other Effective Treatments
Other people choose to seek therapies that are more natural to find what is at the root of the insomnia. Even for people with chemical imbalances, natural treatments can be effective. This includes examining your diet and cutting out caffeine containing foods such as coffee, soda, and dark chocolate after 3pm. Some people add certain foods to their diet that contain chemicals that help with natural sleep. These include turkey, bananas, oatmeal, or a warm glass of milk right before bedtime. These foods contain sleep-inducing chemicals such as tryptophan, melatonin, and serotonin. You can also buy melatonin in pill form from a health store, for a natural, sleep-inducing pill with no side effects.
“AMHA-OR: Insomnia.” AMHA-OR: : Consumer information, emotional well being, mental health, psychotherapy, counseling, oregon. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Oct. 2010. http://or.americanmentalhealth.com/index.tpl?page=118877553914063971.
“Teaching the Mind to Treat Insomnia.” WebMD – Better information. Better health.. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Oct. 2010. http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/news/20090609/teaching-the-mind-to-treat-insomnia.
“Insomnia.” University of Maryland Medical Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Oct. 2010. http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/insomnia-000096.htm.