Insomnia Treatments Are They Effective?
Dr. Yolanda Harper
Although there are many treatments available for individuals who suffer from insomnia such as, pharmacological, cognitive-behavioral, and psychological behavior therapies, some of these treatments are effective. A person can be a part of several studies and/or prescribed drugs, before they find one that can help them with insomnia. The individual can become dependent on the drug(s), the side effects of the drug(s) can do more harm than good, and the clinical studies can be different person to person. It is important to treat insomnia it can affect a person’s overall health, memory, cause the person to have a short temper which in turn can affect the persons personal/work life, and can cause anxiety in a person.
While drugs can help the individual sleep, however, it can make the individual dependent on it even after the individual does not need it anymore, thus making pharmacological therapy controversial. Pharmacological therapy is the act of treating insomnia with drugs. According to Daniel Buysse he states, “Numerous prescription and nonprescription [drugs] have been used to treat insomnia (Chronic Insomnia, 2008).” The drug specifically used to treat insomnia is benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines are classified by the FDA as “Controlled and Dangerous Substances.” As it states in Psychiatric Annals, “benzodiazepines have been a subject of debate related to their misuse, overuse, and abuse potential as a class 3.” According to Matthew Mitchell, “The most common approach to the management of insomnia is medication treatment… the advantages of medications are that they are widely available and, when effective, lead to clinical improvement rapidly. The disadvantages are the potential for side-effects, dependence, and tolerance over time.” Treating insomnia with drugs should only be used for a couple of weeks for short-term insomnia. One drug that can be used and it is proven effective and does not harm the body is melatonin. Melatonin is a chemical that the brain produces to help a person fall asleep. There are melatonin tablets you can buy at your local pharmacy for better sleep results. For a better understanding of melatonin according to The Journal of the American Board of Family Practice, “melatonin is a neurohormone secreted by the pineal gland, and has been publicized as a cure for many sleep problems.” The sources I chose to use for pharmacological therapy they give insight in the dependency of drugs. The sources explain how it might affect the individual. Now even though prescription drugs can be effective when treating insomnia, however, there is a great risk that other problems can arise when taking the drug. It is always best to consult a physician to see what are good options for individuals.
Another type of treatment that is available for individuals to help them with insomnia is cognitive-behavioral therapy. It targets the behaviors that make it hard for the individual to sleep. It targets what the individual does such as, increasing the amount of caffeine intake, and the amount of time a person spends in bed trying to fall asleep. Many individuals worry about sleep, thus making them anxious when they cannot fall asleep. According to Daniel Taylor in Treatment of Insomnia in Adults, “There are three basic ways to challenge maladaptive beliefs about sleep. The first is to address common myths using psychoeducational methods. For instance, educating the patients in the first session about the basics of sleep such as explaining that 70% of the adult population sleeps between 6.5-8.5 hours of sleep per night and that the average person wakes up multiple times in a night but does not remember most of the awakenings because they do not look at the clock. The second method is to use the Beck et al. (1979) method of cognitive therapy from the depression literature, where patients keep...
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