There are many reasons why a person may suffer from insomnia. Some causes are physical, some are emotional, and others are related to stress. Many insomniacs are given pain medication or sleep medication to treat their condition, and pharmacological treatment is the most common sleep treatment provided to insomnia sufferers. However, there is an alternative treatment that is at least equally as effective – cognitive behavioral therapy.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is useful because it teaches behavioral skills that improve sleep quality and removes the possibility of side effects or dependency that may result from treatment with medication. This method provides patients with safer and longer lasting behavior skills to reduce their insomnia. Some examples of behavioral treatment include relaxation therapy, diaphragmatic breathing, sleep hygiene education and paradoxical intention (attempting to stay awake as long as possible, thereby eliminating anxiety about falling asleep rapidly).
Reforming maladaptive beliefs about sleep is another alternative treatment for insomnia. The bedroom can be associated with non-sleep related activities such as working on the computer, watching the latest nerve wracking news report, or communicating over the phone. Behavioral therapy changes this mindset to make the bedroom a sanctuary to be used only for relaxation and sleep. While this may not seem to be an effective option for those who suffer from insomnia, with a little bit of adaptation and time it can be a very viable alternative to sleep medication.
At the Laguna Hills Center for Sleep Apnea and CPAP Intolerance, we treat patients holistically for insomnia and teach cognitive behavioral techniques to get patients on their way to a beautiful nights sleep. Give us a call to schedule your free initial consultation at (949) 420-9669.