The insomnia treatment must take into account the causes of it, as well as its severity and duration. The key to the treatment of insomnia lies in solving the cause of its origin and not just the symptoms. The treatment can be pharmacological or non-pharmacological.
The non-pharmacological treatment of insomnia requires behavioral changes and the life habits of the affected subject. Sometimes it relies temporarily on the drugs, while teaching to put into practice the chosen behavioral treatment. Among the non-pharmacological treatments are:
Habits of good sleep hygiene
- Establish constant schedules for bedtime and getting up.
- Stay in bed only during the necessary time of sleep (7.5 or 8 hours daily).
- Avoid consuming substances that stimulate the nervous system.
- Avoid sleeping during the day.
- Do some kind of physical exercise during the day.
- Do not perform exciting activities in the last hours of the day.
- Take baths of water at body temperature for its relaxing effect.
- Eat at regular times and avoid overeating near bedtime.
- Maintain adequate conditions of temperature, lighting, sounds and comfort in the bedroom.
- The stimulus control therapy seeks to reassociate the bed with a rapid onset of sleep.
- Paradoxical intention therapy seeks to eliminate fear or anxiety of the patient before the probability of not being able to sleep. It consists of asking the patient to try to stay awake all night and not make an effort to get to sleep.
- The progressive muscular relaxation therapy tries that the patient reaches a mental relaxation by means of a deep physical relaxation.
- Cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy: try to control the negative thoughts and anxiety that arises at bedtime (when they have stopped doing things that previously occupied the thought).