Having sleepless nights? Here are some of the best treatments

Having sleepless nights? Here are some of the best treatments

Insomnia, narcolepsy and sleep apnea are sleep disorders that don’t just interfere with your sleep, but your whole life. During the day you feel lethargic and sleepy, but at night you find yourself more awake than ever and unable to fall asleep.

We know that this can be difficult and that if you are reading this, you are probably looking for some sort of remedy or effective solution that will finally let you have a good night’s sleep and avoid the mental and physical problems associated with sleep deprivation.

We are going to explain what sleep disorders are and what treatments and remedies are available, so that you can have an informed discussion with your doctor to find the best option for you

In this article you will find information about:

1. Medication for insomnia
2. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to treat sleep disorders
3. Sleep routines and sleep hygiene
4. Exercise to help you sleep
5. Relaxation and meditation for better sleep
6. Therapies using CBD to help sleep disorders

1. Medication to treat insomnia


There are various drugs that can be used to help combat sleep problems (though they were originally used to treat disorders such as depression or mental illness).

The majority of these drugs have a sedative effect or inhibit brain activity, which can be useful for certain sleep disorder treatments.

Find out all about these drugs here.

However, if you are having difficulty sleeping, you should try these DIY insomnia remedies and read about effective non pharmacological treatments before starting any medication.


2. Cognitive behavioral therapy for sleep disorders

Cognitive therapy is a form of psychotherapy that is focused on identifying and altering emotions, behaviors and thoughts to treat problems like chronic insomnia.

This therapy is based on the idea that our thoughts and perceptions greatly affect our behavior

That is why this therapy aims to motivate patients to challenge their own views (which are very often distorted) and change their patterns of behavior that can sometimes contribute to sleep disorders.

Cognitive therapy is suitable for people of all ages, from children to older people. It can help treat other problems aside from sleep disorders, such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, eating disorders, obsessive/compulsive disorder and many more.

3. Sleep routines and sleep hygiene

What you do during the day directly influences how you are going to feel and what you will be able to do at night. Basically all people diagnosed with some sort of sleep disorder can benefit from a consistent routine, good sleep habits and a healthy sleeping environment (also known as sleep hygiene).

One of the most important ways to combat sleep disorders is to regulate your sleep schedule.

Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, including on weekends. This way, your body will slowly start to adjust to sleeping at certain times and being active at other times.

Other sleep hygiene habits include:

Avoiding naps, tobacco, alcohol and caffeine
Not staying in bed after waking up
Avoiding particularly stimulating, mental or physical activity at least two hours before bed
Avoiding eating too much food at night
Not using electronic devices 1 hour before bed
Meditating or performing relaxation therapies before bed

4. Exercise for better sleep

Exercise isn’t just good for your metabolism, weight control and heart health, but also helps regulate sleep schedules.

Research suggests that when you exercise regularly (at least 3 times a week), you reduce the amount of time it takes to fall asleep and you sleep through the night more easily.

Why does exercise help you sleep better?

On the one hand, exercise affects body temperature. When you do physical activity, you increase your body temperature, but when you stop, your body experiences a drop in temperature. This “temperature drop” promotes sleep.

On the other hand, exercise can also reduce feelings of restlessness, anxiety, and symptoms of depression. These issues are often related to sleep disorders, and given that exercise can have such a big impact on their symptoms, it can significantly help you sleep.

The relationship between exercise and sleep is like a cycle:
when you sleep well, your physical and mental health improves, and when your physical and mental health improves, you sleep better.

Exercise has a direct effect on our circadian rhythm, which acts as the internal body clock in all animals and through which our bodies determine our sleeping and eating patterns, as well as regulate brain activity, hormones and cell regeneration.

By regulating our body clock, exercise helps us sleep better at times that are best suited to our general health.

However, remember to exercise in the morning or the afternoon. If you exercise too late in the day, you may become overstimulated and have problems sleeping, so it’s best to workout at least 4 hours before bed.

You may also be interested in:
Top 10: the 10 best home remedies to combat insomnia


5. Relaxation and meditation for better sleep

A study carried out at Harvard University has shown that meditation may be an effective solution for insomnia and other sleep disorders. To help yourself relax more easily, you can implement certain techniques to calm both your mind and body.

You can start by concentrating on your breathing, feeling how your breath fills your lungs. You could also concentrate on a sound, like “Om”, or positive words like “peace”. You can also repeat a chant to yourself such as “inhale calm, exhale tension”. Repeat this in your head while remaining conscious of your breathing.

If your mind starts to wander off and you find yourself thinking about your worries or problems, don’t worry. When this happens, simply bring your awareness back to your breathing, your chant or a part of your body.

Meditating takes time and practice, but it is natural and can make a huge difference for those struggling with sleep disorders.

There is also a technique that worked for 96% of participants in a US study, which enabled them to fall asleep in two minutes, even under adverse environmental conditions. To do so, try following these 5 simple steps:

Relax the muscles in your face, including your tongue, jaw and the muscles around your eyes
Relax your shoulders, then one arm, the other arm
Exhale fully and relax your chest
Relax your thighs then your calves
Calm your mind. For this step you may want to imagine one of the following scenarios:
lying down in a canoe in calm lake, seeing nothing but the clear sky above you
lying in a black hammock in a completely dark room.

There is no magic formula for falling asleep, so you should practice various meditation techniques, until you find the one that works best for you.

6. CBD* therapies to help sleep disorders

CBD (or cannabidiol) is one of the active components of the cannabis plant. This component does not have any psychoactive effects, but it can help reduce the symptoms of a range of diseases, including sleep disorders.

CBD from cannabis has a calming effect and can induce sleep. It can also help you sleep longer and improve the quality of your sleep.

CBD can be used to treat disorders such as:

Sleep apnea: medicinal cannabis reduces this problem in the short term and has no negative effects on the sleep patterns of patients.
Insomnia: CBD has huge therapeutic potential for treating this disorder and does not affect sleep quality in the long term
REM sleep behavior disorder: research has shown CBD reduces the symptoms of this disorder, in the same way that it helps people with Parkinson’s.
Hypersomnia: certain subspecies of cannabis promote alertness, stimulating the mind and regulating sleep cycles, which could be very useful for treating this type of disorder.
Restless leg syndrome: a few studies have been carried out looking into the effects of CBD on this illness, which saw 6 patients completely cured through the use of medicinal Cannabis.

*Always check to see if it is legal in your jurisdiction before obtaining any cannabis-based product.

You may also like:
Myths about CBD

Now you know about the various different treatments available for sleep disorders, from home remedies and relaxation practices to medicine, it is time for you to try them out and say goodbye to sleepless nights.

Sleep disorders are extremely common, so why not share this article with your friends and family?