Chronic Insomnia: Treatments and Solutions [Complete Guide]

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Aina Prat
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Chronic Insomnia: Treatments and Solutions [Complete Guide]



Do you have difficulty falling asleep, no matter how tired you are? Or do you wake up in the middle of the night and lie awake for hours anxiously looking at your watch? If yes, this content will greatly help you to overcome chronic insomnia. Insomnia is a very common sleep disorder.



Insomnia has serious consequences in the level of energy, the mood and the level of physical functioning of the individual. Chronic insomnia can affect heart health, blood pressure and diabetes. But we must not give in to the inevitability of insomnia. Simple lifestyle changes can improve sleep quality.


 

Treat the causes of chronic insomnia

To act effectively against chronic insomnia, you must become a sleep detective. Emotional factors such as stress, anxiety, and depression cause half of insomnia cases. But daily habits, those related to sleep and health can also play a role. Try to identify all the possible causes of your chronic insomnia. After identifying them, you will be able to solve the problem adequately. Some people, for example, find sleep by burning incense via an incense holder. 


 

Are you highly stressed?

Are you depressed? Do you feel emotionally flat or hopeless?

Do you constantly struggle with feelings of anxiety and worry?

Have you experienced a traumatic event recently?

Do you take any medications that may affect your sleep?

Do you have any health issues that disrupt your sleep?

Is the environment in which you sleep sufficiently quiet and comfortable?

Do you try to always go to bed and wake up at the same time?

Sometimes insomnia problems only last a few days and go away on their own, especially if the insomnia is related to obvious and specific causes such as stress before a public presentation, painful physical trauma, or time lag. hourly. In other cases, insomnia is persistent. Chronic insomnia is usually related to physical or psychological problems.

 

  • Psychological problems  that can cause insomnia: depression, anxiety, chronic stress, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Medication  that can cause insomnia: antidepressants; cold medicine or alcohol containing flu; painkillers containing caffeine (Midol, Excedrin); diuretics, corticosteroids, thyroid hormones, high blood pressure medications.
  • Medical issues  which can cause insomnia: asthma, allergies, Parkinson's disease, hyperthyroidism, gastric reflux, cancer, chronic pain.
  • Sleeping troubles which may cause insomnia: apnea, narcolepsy.
  • Anxiety, stress and depression: some of the most common causes of insomnia.
  • Many people suffering from stress, anxiety and depression have problems sleeping. Likewise, chronic insomnia contributes to worsening anxiety symptoms, depression and stress. Other common psychological causes include anger, worry, grief, bipolar disorder, and trauma. If the problem underlying your insomnia is caused by one or more of these factors, the treatment solution is to address the underlying psychological disorders.

Chronic Insomnia World Map:



 

Symptoms of Chronic Insomnia

With a simple definition, chronic insomnia is the inability to sleep satisfactorily. This incapacity can last a day or two, a month or more. Because different people need different amounts of sleep, insomnia cannot be defined in terms of hours of sleep or rapid sleepiness. On the contrary, it all depends on the quality of your sleep and how you feel when you wake up. Even if you sleep eight hours a night, if you continue to feel tired and sleepy during the day, you may have insomnia.

 

Signs of chronic insomnia:

Overnight:

  • Difficulty falling asleep despite being tired
  • Use of sleeping pills or alcohol to sleep
  • Frequent and brief awakenings or staying awake for long periods
  • Early wake up in the morning without rest

 

During the day:

  • Daytime sleepiness, fatigue or irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating, poor work performance at school
  • Slow reaction times and reduced mental alertness: increased accident risk percentage
  • Weakened immune system
  • Increased risk of depression, anxiety and substance abuse

Although chronic insomnia is one of the most common sleep disorders, it is not usually a specific disorder. It is more correct to consider insomnia as a symptom of another problem. The problem that causes chronic insomnia differs from person to person. It can be something as simple as caffeine abuse or more complex than a medical condition or being overwhelmed with responsibilities.



The good news is that in most cases, chronic insomnia can be cured with changes each of us can make on our own and without resorting to drugs.

 

Treatments for chronic insomnia

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy vs Insomnia Medication

Insomnia is a serious disorder and proper treatment is of paramount importance. It is important to know that it is not necessary to resort to drugs because there are effective treatments without side effects.

Chronic insomnia is characterized by difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or getting adequate quality sleep. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for chronic insomnia is effective in treating problems of the chronic nature of sleep.

The therapy consists of a structured program that helps people identify and replace the thoughts and behaviors that cause or worsen sleep problems by developing habits that promote good quality sleep. Unlike drugs, cognitive behavioral therapy helps overcome the issues underlying sleep problems.

 

What is the TCC for insomnia?

The cognitive part of chronic insomnia treatment teaches us to recognize and change beliefs that affect sleep. The behavioral part helps to develop good habits and avoid behaviors that prevent good quality sleep.

 

Here are some habits:

Sleep education. To implement effective changes, it is important to know the key concepts of sleep – for example, understanding the circadian rhythm and learning how beliefs, behaviors and environmental factors can affect sleep quality.

Cognitive control and psychotherapy. This type of therapy helps control or manage negative thoughts and worries that keep you up at night. It can also help deal with false and anxious beliefs, such as the idea that not sleeping a night is being sick.

Sleep restriction. Staying in bed when you're awake can become a habit leading to poor quality sleep. Limiting the time spent in bed can then help you sleep better. This way you are more likely to fall asleep without waking up at night.

Stay awake passively. This consists of avoiding any effort to fall asleep. Paradoxically, worrying about not being able to sleep can prevent you from sleeping. Letting go of these worries can help you relax and make it easier to sleep.

Stimulus control therapy. This method helps to eliminate factors that condition the mind. For example, one gets into the habit of only using the bed for sleeping and having sex, and leaving the bed if one cannot sleep within 15 minutes.

Sleep hygiene. This method involves changing lifestyle habits that affect sleep, such as smoking, caffeine consumption in the late stages of the day, alcohol abuse, or lack of regular exercise. You may be advised not to nap and to follow an adequate sleep schedule. A series of rules to follow for better sleep are included, as well as strategies for calming down a few hours before going to bed.

Relaxation training. This method helps calm the mind and body. The techniques used range from progressive muscle relaxation to meditation and visualization.

Biofeedback. This method allows you to observe physiological signals such as heart rate and muscle tension and use this information to practice managing them using self-control techniques.

Sleep diary. To understand how to best treat his chronic insomnia, the therapist asks the patient to fill out a detailed diary for a period of one or two weeks. In the diary, the patient records - the time he goes to bed - the time he wakes up - the time spent in bed in the waking state - the total duration of sleep and other related details sleep habits.

Research has not only demonstrated the validity of cognitive behavioral therapy, but also that CBT combined with hypnosis is the most effective treatment for insomnia.

This type of pathway can help anyone with sleep issues, from older people who have been on drugs for years to people with chronic pain, which can easily be treated with regular massage.

The most important thing to consider is that you get long term benefits and there are no side effects.

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