Category: Sleep Disorders

Three Treatments for Insomnia Without Taking Medications

29 September, 2010 (23:20) | Sleep Disorders | By: Health news

Insomnia, being very prevalent and affecting our lives in many ways, has numerous promising treatments for those who suffer with this condition. There are pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments for insomnia. We will explore three non-pharmacological treatments and discuss why these treatments might be more effective in the long-term. We will explain, in detail, these three different types of non-pharmacological treatments as we define or describe each of them. You do not have to suffer any longer with insomnia; there are treatments available to you without taking medications.

Once you know the cause of your insomnia, there are therapies available to you long before your insomnia progresses to the point it has a negative effect on your life. The main focal point in treating and curing insomnia is to find the cause of your insomnia. Once identified insomnia is often eliminated when those triggers, that keep you awake at night, are removed. The success rate of curing your insomnia increases when the source for your insomnia is addressed. Whether you cure your insomnia or not, you can treat your insomnia, with the methods explored in this article, before your insomnia gets out of hand.

Educating yourself is the key to a good night sleep. Knowing how your body responds to certain stimuli, such as a large meal just before bed, offers you information so you can adjust your behavior. Becoming aware of what your natural rhythms are and what sleeping habits work, or do not work, for you is valuable information which allows you to alter what you do? The more you know about what keeps you awake at night the better chance of curing your insomnia and getting that rest you need.

Although prescribed sleeping medications are available, non-pharmacological therapies have an advantage even though some might say both therapies are equally effective especially when used together. Often times, after taking a medication for a period of time, intolerance develops to that medication. That medication is no longer as effective as it was, and the condition will return without another medication being prescribed. Another disadvantage to prescribed medications is a person can become dependent on that medication and once discontinued they can have a withdrawal effect. Non-pharmacological treatments improve your insomnia, and have a longer lasting effect. It is for the above reasons that non-pharmacological therapies have the upper hand in curing insomnia.

Non-pharmacological therapies include a variety of effective methods to aid you in curing your insomnia. The treatments are forms of cognitive behavioral therapy, also known as cognitive therapy or behavioral therapy. The whole goal, of these types of treatments, are for you to become aware of what you are thinking and how you behave, as it relates to sleep, so you sleep well again. This effective form of treatment teaches you new ways of thinking and behaving, regarding your sleeping patterns, and has a longer lasting effect for insomnia than taking medication.

Included in the list of non-pharmacological therapies, for insomnia, are several effective modalities that we will investigate in detail. Three of these modalities, explored in this article, include muscle relaxation, stimulus control, and sleep restriction. There are other modalities for treating insomnia that will be explored in a later article. These three non-pharmacological therapies can be effective in treating your insomnia.

One such modality is using relaxation as a method to calm the body and quite the mind. One way to use the relaxation modality is through meditation. Meditation can be used in a variety of ways and one simple way to use meditation is to sit in a comfortable position and focus on your breath as you inhale and exhale. You can use imagery to help you achieve relaxation by imaging you are somewhere calming to you like a factitious place, a place you have been before or a place you would like to go provided you feel tranquil there. A second way to use meditation to relax is using a meditation tape/CD, with calming music that allows you to unwind and relax. If you have difficulty achieving relaxation on your own, a third method is a guided relaxation tape/CD where someone is taking you through a relaxation session. Whether you use a guided meditation tape or not, this relaxation technique suggests you relax one area of your body at a time. While in a comfortable position, gently tighten, without creating pain, the muscles in one area of your body and hold these tighten muscles for a few seconds and then relax the muscles. While maintaining relaxation to the original area, continue focusing on a new area until you have relaxed every part of your body. It does not matter what area of your body you begin with however, make sure you are able to go to the next part of your body without much thought. An example of moving to the next part of your body without much thought is to begin at the top of your head and go down to your toes or begin at your toes and go up to your head. You can also quite your mind, while using this form of relaxation, by not allowing your mind to focus on anything else while you relax your body. Relaxation therapy is useful in quieting the mind and relaxing the body in order to achieve sleep.

A second modality for achieving a better night sleep is stimulus control. Stimulus control has many facets, however, the theory of stimulus control is your bed is for sleeping and sex activity and nothing more. Watching TV, reading the newspaper or a book, doing any kind of work or eating, while in bed, is counterproductive to getting a good night sleep. Another facet of stimulus control is the idea that you go to bed only when you are tired and if you do not fall asleep within 20 minutes then get up and do something else until you are tired as long as what you are doing is calming. Avoiding taking long naps, during the day, is another facet to stimulus control. Naps that are 10 to 20 minutes long can be invigorating while longer naps during the day affect how much sleep you need at night. Still another aspect of stimulus control is to get up at the same time every day, including Saturday and Sunday, regardless of how many hours of sleep you had. To accomplish this goal, you might have to set an alarm clock to wake you up at the same time every day, provided you do not hit the snooze button. Sleeping longer then your usually time to get up will decrease the effectiveness of stimulus control. Stimulus control limits the time you are awake in bed and this method helps you relearn your bed is for sleep and sexual activity only.

A third modality for achieving a better night sleep is sleep restriction. This third method may sound similar to stimulus control however, sleep restriction limits the amount of time you are in bed down to 4 to 5 hours of sleep a night. The amount of time you are in bed is based on taking the average of the time you sleep, while in bed, and set the time you go to bed and the time you get up accordingly. Basically, sleep restriction deprives you of some sleep for one night so you are more tired the following night and the sleep you do get is more quality sleep. Sleep restriction needs to be used cautiously meaning sleep deprivation has a diminishing effect on a person and their ability to function during the day. The recommendation is for to you get at least 7 hours of sleep again before you engage in activities that require your full attention such as driving or operating machinery. You are the only person who can determine whether you feel safe enough to reintroduce these more demanding activities. Keeping this schedule of sleep and forcing yourself to get out of bed, at the designed time, even when you are still tired allows you the time you sleep is quality sleep. When your quality of sleep improves, you can slowly increase the time you are in bed actually sleeping. Sleep restriction, a method by which you restrict the amount of sleep you get a night, has helped some people who suffer from insomnia and needs to be used with awareness of what works best for you.

There are several avenues available to you to help you get a better night sleep and the three we explored in this article are relaxation, stimulus control and sleep restriction. These three methods of treating insomnia assist you in becoming more aware of what works and what does not work for you in relationship to getting quality sleep. The key to getting the sleep you need is to educate yourself about what is keeping you awake at night, what are the methods that are effective for you and how does your body respond to the stimuli in your life. Each of these non-pharmacological methods are more effective and longer lasting than medications. These three methods, of treating insomnia, only require you to learn the method and be willing to use that method in a way that benefits you. The main focal point to treating and curing insomnia, as discussed in the second paragraph, is to find the cause of your insomnia. Finally, you can treat your insomnia with these three methods however, curing your insomnia requires deeper personal work on the cause of your insomnia. It is possible to eliminate insomnia all together and sleep well again.

Insomnia’s effects are wide ranged. You can treat your insomnia with medications or with some of the treatments discussed in this article, but the most effective way to cure your insomnia is to deal with what is really keeping you awake at night. It requires more personal work on your part and can be very rewarding beyond curing your insomnia. In the book, Turmoil to Tranquility, this author offers ways to deal with those issues and much more. She, specifically, talks about trying to turn off your brain and get some real rest, relaxation, and get a good night’s sleep.

Binaural Recording – Use One to Sleep Naturally

7 December, 2009 (04:29) | Sleep Disorders | By: admin

Sometimes people will use a binaural recording to treat various sleep disorders. Some people use a binaural recording simply to help them relax. Binaural recordings work by playing back a stereo recording of two different sound frequencies, one for each ear. I know, it doesn’t sound like much but it really works.

The way this works is that your brain will hear the two different sounds and will compensate for them by combining the sounds into its own unique frequency. I realize that this seems unlikely but binaural sounds will have a profound effect on the way your brain works and create a tremendous impact on the sleep cycle.

This is a natural drug free way to help you train your brain to remove any external stimulation and obtain a deeper and more restful night’s sleep. You would not believe how many people will choose to take sleeping pills or pay for expensive sleep therapy sessions. The problem with drugs is that you may become addicted and therapy, although expensive, won’t work for everyone. While drugs and therapy may produce a short term solution they will never give you the tools you need to develop better long term sleeping patterns that will stay with you for the rest of your life.

Listening to binaural recordings using a set of headphones or ear plugs just before bedtime will achieve the best results. You can use either an MP3 player or CD player on your night stand or dresser. The sounds can be conveniently used when travelling because they can be stored on a computer, CD or MP3 player and taken anywhere. Binaural recordings are an awesome value for the money as well; once you purchase a recording it’s yours for life.

These recordings are very easy to listen to they are blended with the sounds found in nature such as ocean waves, waterfalls and ocean breezes. You will find them totally relaxing and, once you start using them regularly, you will wonder how you ever got along without them. You can use them not only to help you sleep but at any time you feel stressed out. They are a great way just to take a break from everyday life.

By using a binaural recording you will be able to achieve a relaxed meditative state anywhere and at any time you wish. A binaural recording will not only help you with sleeping problems, but they can also help you relieve the ordinary every day stresses that come with so many of our lives.