Forget about Insomnia: If you can't sleep and nothing helps, try these tips from scientists

Ihor Romanko

Forget about Insomnia: If you can't sleep and nothing helps, try these tips from scientists
Forget about Insomnia: If you can't sleep and nothing helps, try these tips from scientists

Do you have problrms with falling asleep and long periods of insomnia? Does this problem debilitate you and has been going on for months? If so, don't feel alone - around 12-15% of Australian adults face chronic insomnia.

You may have tried breathing exercises, using soothing music, white noise, creating a comfortable sleeping environment in a dark and quiet room, different foods in the evening, following a sleep schedule and reducing your coffee intake. However, despite a few weeks after which the situation may seem to be improving, insomnia returns again. What to do next? This is what Sciense Alert writes about.

Read also: somnologist told that daytime sleep is useful for adults

There are a few things that are likely to do no good:

  1. Spending long hours in bed: This often leads to more time spent in bed, which can worsen insomnia.
  2. Coffee and napping: Coffee and short nap sessions can help overcome fatigue during the day, but caffeine stays in your system for hours and can disrupt nighttime sleep, especially if you consume it late in the afternoon. Short suns last less than 30 minutes or occur around 4 p.m., which can reduce your "sleep deficit" and make it harder to fall asleep in the evening.
  3. Alcohol: Alcohol can help you fall asleep faster, but affect more frequent awakenings, affecting sleep duration and quality.

So, if your symptoms last more than one or two months, you probably need specialized treatment aimed at correcting projectiles and behaviors. The next step is non-medication cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, or CBTi. This four- to eight-week treatment program has been shown to be more effective than sleeping pills.

CBTi involves sleep education and provides psychological and behavioral treatments that address the underlying causes of long-term insomnia. You can participate in the program on your own, in a group with health professionals trained in CBTi techniques, or use online self-treatment programs. Many general practitioners or sleep psychologists can provide this treatment.

If CBTi has not produced the desired results, you may be referred to a sleep specialist to check for possible other sleep disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea, that may be the cause of your insomnia. It is also important to address any mental health issues or physical symptoms such as depression, anxiety or pain that may be affecting your sleep.

Certain aspects of work and lifestyle, such as changes in your work schedule, may also require consultation with a sleep specialist.

Regarding sleeping pills, keep in mind that they are not the first line of treatment for insomnia. However, they may find use for short-term symptom relief or when CBTi is not available or helpful.

 Orexin receptor antagonists (such as suvorexant and lemborexant) are a promising new group of sleep medications nowdays. They block wakefulness pathways in the brain and have a lower risk of side effects than sleeping pills. There is also limited information on the effects of medicinal cannabis on sleep, and further research is needed.

In general, if you are experiencing sleep problems, talk to your general practitioner and consider different treatments. He or she can determine which strategy is best for you and help you improve the quality of your sleep.

Please note: This content is for informational purposes only and does not contain any medical advice. For medication, diagnoses, and other medical advice, consult your doctor.

We suggest you also learn the advice of sleep experts who told you what makes a person wake up at night.

Want to receive the most relevant news about the war and events in Ukraine - subscribe to our Telegram channel!