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Rebound Insomnia: How to Break the Vicious Circle

If you're taking sleeping pills, you need to be concerned about the phenomenon of rebound insomnia. Both over the counter and prescription sleeping medications are incredibly popular nowadays, as more and more people are experiencing sleeping difficulties, in part brought on by our modern, hectic lifestyle and the overabundance of technology and electronic devices which have started to dominate it.

When you struggle for a few nights either unable to fall asleep or to remain sleeping soundly throughout the whole night, you will probably quickly start to consider taking some form of sleeping pills to allow you to get the rest you need. However, the biggest problem with sleeping medications, besides their tendency to be addictive and habit forming, is that they do nothing to tackle the underlying problems behind your inability to sleep properly.

In general, sleeping pills are simply a crutch that far too many people rely on because they allow them to quickly fall asleep and hopefully be refreshed enough to tackle the coming day. While this all sounds well and good, the truth of the matter is that sleeping pills only mask the problem and will never be more than a temporary solution as all they do is mask whatever other issue is causing the insomnia in the first place. 

This isn't to say that sleeping medications should never be used, but the problem is that in most cases, the sleeping problems will start to return as soon as the person stops taking the sleeping pills, as whatever the underlying cause of the insomnia is, it will still persist untreated and thus very quickly the insomnia will start all over again. 

Rebound Insomnia Explained

When a person discontinues using sleeping medications and their sleeping problems return, this condition is referred to as rebound insomnia. Returning insomnia is becoming increasingly common, as more and more people are suffering from poor sleeping patterns or excessive amounts of stress, anxiety, or worries, which they attempt to treat by taking sleeping pills. 

This isn't to say that sleeping medications don't have their place or should never be used, but what it does mean is that you need to be careful about how you use them and you should never use them for a prolonged period of time, or else your sleeping problems are likely to return with a vengeance as soon as you discontinue using the medication.

How to Avoid Getting Rebound Insomnia

It can probably go without saying, but obviously the easiest way to avoid rebound insomnia is to avoid using sleeping medications in the first place. 

rebound insomniaIn the past, doctors were very quick to almost indiscriminately prescribe sleeping medications to pretty much anyone who came into their office complaining about a lack of sleep, and this practice still continues quite frequently today. 

When you combine this over prescription with the huge number of over the counter, chemical sleeping pills available on the market, it should then not come as much of a surprise that many people often experience this condition of returning insomnia whenever they stop taking their pills.


In order to try to prevent this condition from happening, you have a few different options, including cognitive behavioral therapy,natural sleeping remedies and herbal supplements. 


While a prescription for sleeping medications used to be the norm when people came into their doctors complaining of sleeping problems, many doctors are finally starting to realize that there are other, more effective treatment methods. 

One such method that has really started to gain in acceptance recently is sleep-related cognitive behavioral therapy, which is a fairly long process that involves lots of introspection in order to try and understand the underlying cause of the insomnia, and then developing certain tools and skills that can be used to try to counteract these causes.

rebound insomnia19Although it is a rapidly growing field, it may still be difficult to find someone in your area that offers this service. 

What's more, many insurance providers have yet to recognize therapy or counseling as an effective form of insomnia treatment, meaning that they won't cover the costs, while they will still, of course, cover the expenses for prescription sleeping pills. 

If you have access to a cognitive behavioral therapy program, it is very highly recommended, as more and more evidence is starting to show that it is the most effective, long term solution for insomnia.

Still, if you can't find a specialist in your area, or simply want to try some of your other options, you could consider trying something like yoga, meditation, or other relaxation exercises such as progressive relaxation

Progressive relaxation involves slowly focusing on each part of your body, and fully relaxing that area before moving further up, until at last reaching your head and fully relaxing your body and mind to allow sleep to come naturally.

Another area which has started to gain in acceptance is the use of hypnotism for insomnia (or hypnotherapy) to again try to address the underlying worries or concerns behind your inability to fall asleep. Again, you may have difficulties finding someone in your area offering sleep hypnotherapy, but if you can, then it might be well worth it.

rebound insomniaFinally, there are also a huge number of all natural sleeping remedies and herbal supplements that can also help you to fall asleep more naturally. Even simple things like aromatherapy or a warm, relaxing bath before bedtime are great alternatives to sleeping medications. 

Furthermore, these natural remedies are completely safe for long term use, meaning they can be used as often as needed without becoming addicted. While these solutions are not permanent and will still do nothing to treat the underlying cause, they nonetheless provide a much higher quality of sleep than you get with prescription drugs.

Still, if you feel the need to take sleeping pills to treat short term insomnia, there is a way to at least attempt to prevent returning insomnia. The most important thing is to slowly discontinue the use of the pills, instead of just stopping suddenly. Many doctors help this by slowly prescribing smaller doses or weaker medications and possibly even a placebo, until the patient can finally sleep on their own.

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