Quick fixes for insomnia

When faced with insomnia, try these methods in the order listed.

1) Improve sleep hygiene

2) Start keeping a sleep diary and see if it helps you find causes and solutions

3) Sleep restriction.  A professional therapist will be expensive, but if you have enough self-discipline, you can create and execute your own program.

4) After a month, if the above doesn’t work, consider medication.  Over-the-counter sleep aids, used responsibly (don’t mix with alcohol or other drugs) help millions.  Try to limit your use to two weeks.

5) Medical help from doctor.  Cognitive behavioral therapy has been shown to be the best long-term solution for insomnia (and it’s drug free), but it is expensive, and you might have trouble finding a therapist.  To reduce cost and hassle, most people probably prefer a pill.  Doctors can discuss options with you.  Some of the prescription sleeping pills are habit-forming.  You don’t want to stay on them in the long run.  Work with your doctor to taper off medications.  If CBT is feasible, try that.

6) Sleep clinic diagnosis – overnight polysomnography.  If your insurance won’t pay for this it could be expensive.  These tests could uncover apnea or other sleep disorders.


Insomnia Flowchart in PDF format

Prevention of insomnia

Reliable sleep

What if you think you have a sleep disorder?

Questions and Answers about Sleep Issues and Part 2

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