When most people think of insomnia, they think of being unable to sleep night after night. However, the disorder actually involves having difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Those who suffer from insomnia can sleep; they just don't get the right quality or quantity of sleep that they need.
The condition can be caused by a variety of factors, including medical problems or mental health issues. To get to the bottom of the problem, those who suffer from the disorder should visit a medical doctor to rule out any health problems. If no health issues are found, psychotherapy may be the next option.
Stress and anxiety can often contribute to sleep problems, and talking with a therapist may help. To start, a therapist may suggest relaxation exercises and other ways to reduce stress or anxiety, including taking prescription medication to regulate mood. Improvements in diet and exercise can also help combat stress and anxiety and improve the quality of sleep.
A psychotherapist may also help patients with reconditioning or behavioral therapy. These techniques help to change behaviors and conditions that are associated with sleep. For example, those who stay up for hours tossing and turning in bed may soon associate the bedroom with wakefulness or anxiety. Psychotherapy can help patients learn strategies to retrain the mind, such as creating new routines and associations with bedtime. These may include listening to relaxing music, taking a warm bath, meditating or having other quiet time before heading off to bed.
Insomnia is more than an annoying condition that makes you tired. It can make it difficult for you to work and impact your mood to the point of negatively affecting your relationships. By getting to the root of the problem, you can get the good night's sleep that you need. If your medical doctor finds no underlying health conditions that may be contributing to the problem, psychotherapy may be the answer you need.
If you’re suffering from insomnia, find a doctor in your area who can advise you on your specific symptoms and case.