First, the diagnosis and treatment of underlying medical or psychological problems.
The identification of behaviors that may worsen insomnia and stopping (or reducing) them.
A possible trial of sleeping pills, although the long-term use of sleeping pills for chronic insomnia is controversial. A patient taking any sleeping pill should be under the supervision of a physician to closely evaluate effectiveness and minimize side effects. In general, these drugs are prescribed at the lowest dose and for the shortest duration needed to relieve the sleep-related symptoms. For some of these medicines, the dose must be gradually lowered as the medicine is discontinued because, if stopped abruptly, it can cause insomnia to occur again for a night or two.
A trial of behavioral techniques to improve sleep, such as relaxation therapy, sleep restriction therapy, and reconditioning.
There are specific and effective techniques that can reduce or eliminate anxiety and body tension. As a result, the person’s mind is able to stop “racing,” the muscles can relax, and restful sleep can occur. It usually takes much practice to learn these techniques and to achieve effective relaxation.
Some people suffering from insomnia spend too much time in bed unsuccessfully trying to sleep. They may benefit from a sleep restriction program that at first allows only a few hours of sleep during the night. Gradually the time is increased until a more normal night’s sleep is achieved.
Another treatment that may help some people with insomnia is to recondition them to associate the bed and bedtime with sleep. For most people, this means not using their beds for any activities other than sleep and sex. As part of the reconditioning process, the person is usually advised to go to bed only when sleepy. If unable to fall asleep, the person is told to get up, stay up until sleepy, and then return to bed. Throughout this process, the person should avoid naps and wake up and go to bed at the same time each day. Eventually the person’s body will be conditioned to associate the bed and bedtime with sleep.
- Insomnia, fatal familial
See Fatal familial insomnia.
- Insomnia, intermittent
Insomnia that occurs from time to time and each time lasts less than a week or two. Intermittent insomnia may not require treatment since the episodes of insomnia usually only last a few days at a time. For example, if insomnia is due to a temporary change in the sleep/wake schedule, as with jet lag, […]
- Insomnia, transient
Insomnia that usually lasts less than a week and does not recur. If it recurs from time to time, the insomnia is considered intermittent. If the insomnia affects most nights and lasts a month or more, it is considered chronic insomnia. Transient insomnia may not require treatment. For example, if it is due to jet […]
To thicken. Inspissated bile is thickened bile.
- Institute of Medicine
A nonprofit organization established in 1970 as a component of the US National Academy of Sciences that works outside the framework of government to provide evidence-based research and recommendations for public health and science policy. Abbreviated IOM. The IOM is also an honorific membership organization.