Insomnia can disrupt daily life by causing irritability, exhaustion, tiredness, and difficulty staying focused. This affliction is also believed to be a risk factor for other diseases, including obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Chronic, or recurrent, insomnia is a widespread condition affecting nearly 10-15% of the global population.

Even acute, or short-lived, insomnia, if left untreated, can develop into chronic insomnia and becomes more challenging to treat.

It is therefore important to learn how to deal with insomnia as soon as symptoms present themselves, and to seek medical attention for evaluation and diagnosis as early as possible.

A medical evaluation for insomnia may begin with a physical exam by your physician, as well as an investigation into your medical and sleep histories.

Learning about your sleep patterns from both yourself and your partner or spouse may better inform your doctor of your sleep patterns, since you may not always be aware or remember waking at night. You may also be asked to record your sleep patterns, and how you feel the next morning, in a sleep diary. In some cases, you may be referred to a specialist for further testing. Once you receive a diagnosis, you can then explore treatment options for how to deal with insomnia.

How to deal with insomnia through the appropriate treatment depends on whether it presents concurrently with other diseases.

A strong relationship is known to exist between insomnia and other mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, various psychological disorders, and substance abuse. In the case of concurrent, or secondary insomnia, treatment options may include prescription drugs such as antidepressants or cognitive behavioral therapy targeting one or both disorders. In contrast, primary insomnia – which does not present with other disorders – is specifically targeted during treatment.

A physician assessing how to deal with insomnia may not recommend treatment for acute insomnia. If the presenting insomnia is mild, the physician may recommend changes to one’s sleep habits.

Good sleep habits include maintaining a daily routine for sleep and meals, creating sleep-inducing environmental conditions (low noise and light, comfortable temperature), and avoiding stimulants (such as caffeine and nicotine). Alternatively, a physician may prescribe medicinal sleep aids. Over-the-counter (OTC) sleep aids are meant for short-term use and their effects wear off over time. For this reason, OTC sleeping pills are not recommended as a treatment for insomnia. Additionally, sleep aids – both OTC and prescription – have many long-lasting side effects.

Other options for chronic insomnia treatment, which are less invasive, include cognitive behavioral therapy that can educate you about sleep-promoting behaviors, such as relaxation exercises and sleep restriction therapy. Cognitive therapy can also help you identify and address behaviors that you may not be aware of, which inhibit sleep. While less conventional, acupuncture and herbal medicines can also be used as a treatment option for insomnia. However, these options are not always effective and currently remain unsupported scientifically.

A third option, which is non-invasive as well as scientifically verified, is neurofeedback therapy to address the symptoms associated with insomnia.

Insomnia can create tension on the nervous system, which then results in some of its many symptoms. BrainCore Therapy relies on neurofeedback – or qEEG biofeedback – to effectively address the brainwave dysregulation found in insomnia, as well as other conditions, with a team of reliable and knowledgeable doctors.

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