Insomnia is characterized by difficulty sleeping, and can be defined as either primary (where the sleep difficulties can’t be attributed to another medical condition) or secondary (where the sleep difficulties can be attributed to another medical condition). Depending on how long your insomnia lasts, it can be transient (less than a week), acute (less than a month), or chronic (more than a month). No matter how long your insomnia lasts for, it can seriously interfere with your everyday life. For those suffering from insomnia, there are multiple treatment options available to help you get your sleep back.
Treating Insomnia With Pharmaceuticals
There are a number of prescription medications available to treat insomnia. One of the most common drugs, Ambien, is designed to help you get to sleep at night. Ambien works very quickly, within 15 minutes, but will not stay in your system for the entire night, making it possible to wake up throughout the night. A fairly new version of Ambien is also designed to help you stay asleep for the entire night. Another prescription medication, Lunesta, is similar to Ambien. Unlike Ambien and Lunesta, which help you get to sleep, Silenor helps you stay asleep.
There are also a number of over the counter drugs available to assist with sleeping problems, most of them being antihistamines (think Benadryl). None of these drugs, prescription and non-prescription, should be taken unless you can’t even get a few hours of sleep nightly.
Treating Insomnia Without Pharmaceuticals
There are a number of herbal supplements that can be used to treat insomnia through a more natural approach.
Chamomile is one of the most commonly used herbs for treating insomnia. One of the easiest, and probably most relaxing, ways to take chamomile before bed is through tea. Ginseng has also been shown to naturally help insomnia. Melatonin can also be purchased as a capsule or pill, and is a hormone that assists the body in regulating sleep. Melatonin is frequently used by those suffering from insomnia but wanting to avoid potentially habit forming sleep medications.
There are also things that can be done during the day to help decrease insomnia at night. Studies have shown that regular exercise helps you to get asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Taking twenty minutes to relax or meditate before going to bed also helps to prepare your body properly for sleep.
Insomnia can be treated through a variety of avenues, including herbs, exercise, and meditation. One effective solution is a natural sleep aid which combines multiple sleep ingredients. Of course, if you currently suffer from insomnia, it is encouraged that you speak with your doctor before trying new treatments.