There are more than 3 million cases of insomnia every year in the United States. Are you one of the many people out there looking for the cure for insomnia?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer. But you may be able to beat this troublesome condition with proper self-care and healthy sleep habits.
We are going to break down everything you need to know about insomnia, so you can learn how to find a solution that works for you. Let’s get to it!
The Facts About Insomnia
Most cases of insomnia relate to things like poor sleep habits and other physical or mental health conditions. Stress, depression, anxiety, lack of exercise, or some types of medications are well-known causes of trouble sleeping.
Symptoms that emerge for people struggling with insomnia often include difficulty falling asleep. There may also be signs of difficulty staying asleep. People with insomnia also might wake up too early and be unable to go back to sleep. And they might wake up in the morning without feeling like they got any rest during the night.
There are a few ways to treat insomnia, although there is no identified cure for the condition. People dealing with insomnia often times employ a combination of different strategies to address it. Over time they observe their results. Then they adjust their strategies to find what works for them.
Since there are different types of insomnia, and different conditions that can trigger it, solutions can vary greatly between individuals. Identifying causes and developing a lifestyle suited for sleep is the best way to manage insomnia long-term. It may be the next best thing to a full-fledged cure.
If you don’t already know what type of insomnia you have it may be a good idea to visit your doctor. They can assess you to see what your situation is. Depending on your needs they may refer you to a sleep expert who will review your sleep habits. They may even conduct a full-blown sleep study on you.
Create a Personalized Treatment Plan
You may be able to self-diagnose insomnia. But after speaking with a medical professional, you will be able to identify things like the type of insomnia you suffer from and what may be causing it. This is a crucial step for beginning to manage and control this condition.
Since there are so many variations of this condition, there are also varying strategies to address it. Beginning one of these strategies without assessing if it is the right one can waste precious time that you could be sleeping.
For example, imagine someone experiencing insomnia due to a new medication. Stimulus control therapy for a couple of weeks probably won’t make much of a difference in their sleep success.
Because there is an element of trial and error involved with first trying out insomnia treatment options, starting off in the right direction is extremely important. It can save you months of frustratingly sleepless nights, doctor visits, and stress.
If you can accurately identify the type of insomnia you have and what triggers it, there is a good chance you can figure out an effective way to deal with it. It may be simpler than you think, too. With just a few adjustments to either your schedule, environment, mindset, or medications.
Remember, the best person to help you figure out what will work best for you is you working with your doctor. Your doctor may recommend trying a combination of cognitive behavioral therapies, relaxation techniques, medications, and other strategies together for the best results.
So just what types of insomnia are there and what are the best ways to deal with it? Let’s take a look.
Types of Insomnia
There are two main categories of insomnia. They are acute, or short-term, insomnia and chronic, or long-term, insomnia.
Acute insomnia lasts for 3 months or less. The symptoms of this type of sleep disorder usually go away on their own without needing any specific attention. Acute insomnia is usually a response to a stressful event or situation in someone’s life. This could be the start of a new job or the death of a loved one.
Chronic insomnia is described as insomnia that lasts longer than a month or more. Although some doctors don’t consider insomnia to be long-term until it has persisted for more than 3 months.
If you have trouble sleeping, or staying asleep, for three days or more a week and it has lasted for 3 months or more, then you may be suffering from chronic insomnia. Just like acute insomnia, chronic insomnia can be tied to stressful or disturbing life events.
But it is also commonly caused by things like depression, anxiety, chronic pain, diabetes, thyroid disease, or certain medications.
Once it is determined what type of insomnia someone has it can be further categorized into some different sub-types.
Sleep onset insomnia is the most frequently experienced type of insomnia. But people regularly experience maintenance insomnia, early morning awakening insomnia, mixed insomnia, and comorbid insomnia.
Sleep onset insomnia is the type that makes it difficult for people to fall asleep. It can cause symptoms like mood swings, depression, anxiety, and poor coordination. Overall, it can negatively impact a person’s quality of life by keeping them from having the energy to thrive.
Maintenance insomnia is bothersome for people who can fall asleep without problems, but can’t stay asleep. People with this specific type of insomnia may wake up too early and be unable to fall back asleep. They may wake up many times throughout the night, the true definition of tossing and turning. Or when they wake up in the morning they may feel tired and like they didn’t rest. Since people with this type of insomnia have poor sleep quality, they may feel tired during the day.
Early morning awakening insomnia is similar to maintenance insomnia. It causes people to wake up before they want to and keeps them from going back to bed. This decreases overall sleep time and can lead to clumsy behavior and poor cognitive functioning.
Comorbid insomnia is a sleep condition caused or exacerbated by another physical or mental health condition. But just because one condition clears up doesn’t mean the other will. That is why it is important to speak with a doctor who knows your full health history when trying to find your own cure for insomnia.
Mixed insomnia is a blanket term for those who exhibit characteristics of multiple types of insomnia. It is common for people to have overlapping sleep conditions. This is part of what makes finding a successful treatment plan or a cure so difficult.
Although you may have to experiment with multiple treatments to find what works, eventually most people find success with a combination of strategies. Doctors often recommend cognitive behavioral therapy along with lifestyle changes, and sometimes, medications.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy addresses negative thoughts and emotions that pop up around bedtime. These are ones that can excite a person enough to keep them awake. Patients practice recognizing negative sleep thoughts and habits. Then replace them with positive ones. Changed mindsets about sleep have helped people to manage their insomnia long-term.
Stimulus control therapy aims to reduce stimuli at night that keeps your mind active. This might mean removing a TV from the bedroom. Or a work desk. Anything that makes your mind start to tick needs to go.
Relaxation techniques have also proven to be helpful for the long-term management of insomnia. Deep breathing exercises, yoga, and meditation are all fantastic ways to unwind at night. And they have other health benefits that can relieve tension and stress throughout your body. You can also try a warm bubble bath or reading a book next to the fireplace.
For those who might struggle with oversleeping, sleep restriction is an option. This involves limiting the amount of time spent in bed. If you have trouble falling asleep then get out of bed and try to stay awake. When you wake up in the morning, get right out of the sheets instead of lingering in the morning. Spending less time in bed might make the time you are there more efficient.
Similarly, if you can’t fall asleep because you are worried about not being able to fall asleep, you can try to stay awake passively. This means giving up. Shift your focus to folding clothes, reading a book, or doing something like knitting. The idea is that getting into the rhythm of your activity will allow your mind to be calm. Hopefully, then you can fall asleep without further intervention.
There are still more therapy options for those who need a well-rounded plan of attack for getting rid of insomnia. Your doctor may even decide to prescribe a sleep medication.
Prescription Sleep Aids
Prescription sleeping pills are usually not the first choice for many people with insomnia. Doctors don’t recommend taking them for long-term insomnia. But there are some options that are cleared for long-term use if that is necessary for sleep.
Sleeping pills come with risks, for example, they can be habit-forming. They can have negative side effects such as grogginess, nausea, or headaches.
Over-The-Counter Sleep Aids
Over-the-counter sleep supplements are another way to help fight insomnia. Antihistamines are usually included in OTC sleep supplements that make people drowsy. They are not ideal for long-term use.
CBD Sleep Supplement
However, CBD is a safe, well-tolerated, and effective supplement with evidence of success in helping people sleep better.
It is a cannabinoid that is extracted from hemp with less than .3% THC. It has no psychoactive effects but has many therapeutic benefits.
It interacts within the endocannabinoid system in the body. This system is responsible for maintaining homeostasis throughout the body. It plays a large role in sleep.
If the endocannabinoid system gets off balance then sleep issues like insomnia can be triggered. CBD helps to balance this system back out which can help it help you achieve better sleep again.
And CBD products can be formulated with other ingredients that are useful in assisting sleep, like melatonin. Taking a high-quality, natural supplement like CBD oil and melatonin, in addition to making some small lifestyle changes, maybe all the help you need to kick insomnia to the curb.
Implement Healthy Sleep Habits
Try to implement some of the following to improve your sleep habits and self-care routine:
Make a Schedule
Your body needs to know when it can expect to rest and when it needs to be alert. Sticking to a schedule can help to reset your internal clock and make shut-eye feel natural again.
If you don’t do enough during the day your body simply might not be tired yet. For example, go for a run or play a sport a couple of hours before bed so you can get your energy out and still have time to wind down.
Limit caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine
Stimulants like caffeine and alcohol will keep your mind and body awake no matter how you wish to sleep. If you do consume anything like coffee or alcohol during the day try to keep it limited and before the evening.
Don’t eat or drink too much before bed
Having a full stomach when you lay down can lead to heartburn, or just being uncomfortable. And you may have to get up to use the toilet throughout the night. A good rule of thumb is ti drink a glass of water an hour before bed and wait for the morning before consuming anything else.
Create your Ideal Sleep Environment
It is important to make your bedroom or wherever your bed is as comfortable as possible. The temperature, light settings, and noise levels are some of the most important factors to consider.
Speak with your Doctor about medications
Lots of medications may have side effects that include keeping people up at night. If you are taking anything ask your doctor if this could be a cause for sleeplessness.
Sleep Better with CBD
Don’t just take out word for it, try CBD for yourself and see how it affects your sleep. You can read a verified, third-party lab test result that confirms the safety and efficacy of our products.
By creating healthy sleep habits and a balanced endocannabinoid system, you may be able to find your own type of cure for insomnia. Don’t underestimate how helpful these little additions to your self-care routine can be.