people turn to medication for sleep help,
feeling like there are no other options. However, this is not going to
solve the problem and will only provide temporary relief. Many people
still underestimate the importance
of sleep, or rather, of quality sleep.
sleeping aids are furthermore proven to not provide you with the same
quality of sleep that other, non-pharmaceutical,
Another big issue with medication is that it teaches the body that it
needs certain chemicals to sleep, making it difficult to stop taking
them and try other methods. If you're thinking about taking something
for your sleep problems, we advise trying some all
natural sleep aids.
If the insomnia is not very severe, small
adjustments to a person’s
everyday life can fix the issue. It is important to create a calm
environment to sleep in, as well as to calm you body before bed. When
your brain is overactive and not allowed to wind down before bed, it
will be harder to fall asleep, even when feeling tired. This is why
sleep issues can often be helped with a few, simple changes in
Results on a sleep study showed that 80% of patients
slept better and
felt more rested during the day on structured non-drug therapy,
traditional sleeping medications. Non-drug sleep therapy is based
partly on teaching certain psychological principals to help sleep.
Amongst other things, there is a focus on regulating the time spent in
bed, and the importance of the bed only being used for sleep is
If you're looking for advice, a great place to start is the American
Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA). More and more specialists at sleep
clinics are choosing to treat their
patients with cognitive
sleep therapy, to battle the core of the
problem rather than providing quick, pharmaceutical relief. Some of the
most common sleep help techniques are listed below.
control therapy is a type of sleep help, used to
correct bad sleep behavior, and to strengthen the association between
sleep and bed. Patients are given a set of instructions that must be
followed carefully. It is emphasized that the bed should only be used
for sleep, not for work, watching TV, reading or other things (sexual
activity is permitted).
the patient does not sleep in a short period
of time (such as within 15-30 minutes), they should stand up, leave the
bedroom, and not return to bed until feeling sleepy again. The time to
get up in the morning is predetermined
and cannot be adjusted by the
amount of sleep the patient actually gets every night. This treatment
requires a motivated patient who is able to follow the
is difficult and a worsening of sleep is often seen for the
first 1-2 weeks before an improvement occurs. It is important to
prepare the patient for this.
According to a large
study overview based on 59 different treatments with over 2000
patients, stimulus control therapy proved to be the most efficient form of treatment
for conditions such as chronic
insomnia. Research results show that about 80% of patients
get better sleep. It also appears that the effect of treatment persist
Many patients with poor sleep
end up spending a long time in bed,
hoping to get at least some rest. It is not uncommon for patients to
only sleep for about
five hours after being in bed for 9-10 hours. This
is considered a major factor in sleep maintenance difficulties, and why
restriction therapy aims to reduce the time spent in bed
until the time the
patient actually falls asleep and is able to complete a complete set of
A sleep diary is used
to figure out how
long the patient sleeps. It is recommended that the time in bed never
be reduced to less than five hours. If the calculated length of sleep
per night is at 5.5 hours, the patient’s time in bed should be limited
to 5.5 hours.
consultation with the doctor, the patient may decide
for himself when he wants to get up in the morning, and then estimate
the time they should go to bed, i.e. go to bed at 1:30 am and get up at
7:00 in the morning.
time the patient will stay in bed is adjusted
from consultation to consultation, based on changes in a parameter
called sleep efficiency
(total sleep time divided by time in bed, in
percent). A sleep efficiency of 50% means being is awake half the time
you are in bed. As you get older, your sleep efficiency can also be
affected by your sleep
spindles getting shorter.
dealing with sleep
restriction, the time in bed
will normally be increased when a sleep efficiency of 80-85% is
reached, and remain unchanged if the number is below 80%.The increase
in time in bed is often done in 15 minute increments. Follow-up is done
using sleep diaries. Treatment is difficult for the patient; like with
stimulus control therapy the sleep is often worsened initially
improvement occurs after some time.
Relaxation treatment aims to reduce physical or mental activity. There
are various types of relaxation methods used for sleep help, including
relaxation training, autogenic
physical therapists and other health professionals
swear by such methods to help sleep. The effect is documented, but
these techniques most often do not give as good of results as stimulus
control therapy and sleep restriction.
of different therapies
It is possible to combine
these various non-drug treatment principles.
One can expect a significant improvement in sleep by such structured,
non-drug sleep therapy and it will often help the sleep issues long
results from extensive research emphasizes that
these therapies are effective for chronic insomnia in all ages, so they
are also beneficial for sleep
disorders in children. It is
essential that the patient is motivated for the non-drug treatments to
succeed, and both stimulus control therapy and sleep restriction are
demanding treatment for patients.
Behavioral Therapy (or CBT, for short), is often used to treat anxiety
disorders. It involves changing the way you think about things. This
can be extremely useful for sleep anxiety, for example. Read more about
what CBT can do for your troubled sleeping at Carol's website Get Self-Help.
With Sleep Disorders in Australia
Disorders Australia (SDA)
is a voluntary group offering assistance and support to those persons
and their families who are living with sleep disorders throughout
Australia. Membership is available to all sufferers, members
their family, medical professionals, and any member of the public who
has an interest in the area of sleep disorders.
to the Snoring