Hours go by with you tossing and turning, with no hope of escape into comfy, restful sleep. Or worse, you’re exhausted with no chance of dozing off before the dreaded morning alarm. If this isn’t you, it may be someone very close to you, suggest the results of a new survey.
While insomnia can lead to trouble falling or staying asleep, chronic insomnia may do more damage than bad sleep, commonly making anxiety, depression, and pain worse, according to an insomnia study published in the journal Medical Clinics of North America.
Sleep aids like melatonin can work well with the right guidance, according to the Medical Clinics of North America study. But when researchers took a look at the different medications and supplements for insomnia, they found some cause for concern. Dietary sleep aids, including valerian, kava-kava, and skullcap, are unregulated and require more evidence to prove that they work. Even melatonin should not be used for chronic insomnia, according to the AASM clinical guidelines, which is advice for chronic insomnia treatment from experts in sleep medicine and sleep psychology.
According to the guidelines, these treatments could help the people in the study with insomnia and others with this condition:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I)
- Relaxation therapy, including controlled breathing and meditation
- Using the bed for sleep and sex only; no reading or watching TV in bed
- Seeing a medical provider for help with a treatment plan
Insomnia has no known cure, and what works for one person may not work for another. Talk with your doctor if you need help resolving your symptoms.