Like most other conditions, there cannot be blanket sleep treatments for all sleep disorders. Since most sleep disorders usually have an underlying cause, the best sleeping treatment would be prescribed after the underlying cause is known. Sleep treatments shall be discussed with an aim of helping those with insomnia – the most common sleep disorder symptom.
Insomnia does not come from the blues; it is always caused by an underlying problem. Remember that it is not always possible for you to pick out the cause by yourself. It is therefore important to consider professional advice. The commonest underlying problems need to be explored before sleep treatments are prescribed include:
- Stress and Depression.
- Emotional distress.
- Other diseases.
Sleep Treatments: Determining Causes of Poor Sleep
Here are some sleep treatments that can be explored at home:
Sleep is affected by what you eat and in deed changing your diet is one of the best sleep treatments. If changing what you eat does not cure your insomnia, it will definitely go along way in easing insomnia. Coffee and other caffeinated drinks need to be avoided. Caffeine stimulates the brain which needs to be relaxed during sleep.
For a good night sleep, try eating proteins for supper. Proteins provide the amino acid tryptophan that is known to induce sleep. To make the tryptophan to be more available to the brain so as to induce sleep, be sure to eat food that are rich in carbohydrates for supper. The amino acid tryptophan is also used to make the hormone melatonin which is basically the sleep hormone.
As sleep treatments, exercises are a double-edged sword. On one edge, exercises can cause insomnia while on the other; they can cause good night sleep. The difference between the two depends on when exercises are performed. If you want to sleep well, be sure to exercise about 4 hours before your designated sleep time. Exercising too close to sleep time put your body in an active mode that is not good for sleep.
In sleep treatments, the time you sleep can determine whether or not you will have a good night sleep. You see, sleep time is a conditioned behavior. To avoid insomnia, you need to train your body to sleep and wake up at the same time everyday. Sudden changes in sleep time confuse the body leading to insomnia. To ensure that you sleep at the same time everyday, explore the following sleep habits:
- Brush your teeth before sleeping.
- Read an inspirational verse or chapter of a book.
- Wake up at the same time everyday even if you feel sleep.
- Switch off the light in your bedroom at the same time everyday.
In sleep apnea, one of the effective sleep treatments is losing weight. This way you get to reduce weight around the neck that is related to snoring. Sleep apnea can also be treated using COPD.
Top 10 Tips for Better Sleep
- Sleep as much as needed to feel refreshed and healthy during the following day, but not more. Curtailing time in bed a bit seems to solidify sleep: excessively long times in bed seem related to fragmented and shallow sleep.
- A regular arousal time in the morning seems to strengthen circadian cycling and to finally lead to regular times of sleep onset.
- A steady daily amount of exercise probably deepens sleep over the long run, but occasional one-shot exercise does not directly influence sleep during the following night.
- Occasional loud noises (e.g., aircraft fly-overs) disturb sleep even in people who do not awaken because of the noises and cannot remember them in the morning. Sound-proofing the bedroom might be advisable for people who have to sleep close to excessive noise.
- Although an excessively warm room disturbs sleep, there is no evidence that an excessively cold room solidifies sleep, as has been claimed.
- Hunger may disturb sleep. A light bedtime snack (especially warm milk or similar drink) seems to help many individuals sleep.
- An occasional sleeping pill may be of some benefit, but the chronic use of hypnotics is ineffective at most and detrimental in some insomniacs.
- Caffeine in the evening disturbs sleeps, even in persons who do not feel it does.
- Alcohol helps tense people to fall asleep fast, but the ensuing sleep is then fragmented.
- Rather than trying harder and harder to fall asleep during a poor night, switching on the light and doing something else may help the individual who feels angry, frustrated, or tense about being unable to sleep.
Current Concepts: The Sleep Disorders. By Peter Hauri, The Upjohn Company, 1977.
Sleep Treatments: Medicines
There are cases where you have to take sleeping pills to help you sleep as you try to develop good sleep habits. In sleep treatments, medicines are also used to treat underlying sleep disorders that are causing sleeplessness. In Restless Legs Syndrome for instance, sleep treatments include getting drugs that reduce itchiness. In narcolepsy, drugs are prescribed so as to develop a regular sleep-wake cycle.