Insomnia is a common sleep disorder, so common that it affects 15% of the population. This means that there is a great chance that at some point during our lives, we`ll suffer from this problem. Of course, not all of those affected by insomnia will turn into zombies, most of them will still be functional during the day, but with a they`ll perform actions with delay or with some sort of glitches.
Long term insomnia can cause severe health problems, like hypertension, obesity, type 2 diabetes and anxiety. Therefore it is advised to seek medical help if you cannot get a proper amount of sleep, but many of those who are still functional during the day avoid or postpone a visit to their physician.
However, once the problems caused by insomnia are getting too difficult to handle alone, most people will turn to medication to help them get some well-deserved sleep, but is this the proper way to handle this problem?
An analysis published recently in the Annals of Medicine, took it upon itself to draw conclusions out of 20 studies that were conducted on people who suffered from insomnia and who tried in various ways to improve their sleep pattern.
Results show, that behavioral cognitive therapy, aka talking therapy, is enough to improve most sleeping time for most people. This means that you can learn to control your sleep pattern without resorting to medication which might cause noticeable side effects. Through behavioral cognitive therapy, the amount of sleep a person got per night increased by 10%, too much of a percentage to have been just a fluke.
For insomniacs, the average time of falling asleep is just under an hour and they usually lie awake in bed after falling asleep for about 75 minute, after cognitive behavioral therapy, they fell asleep 20 minutes faster and they spent only 45 minutes awake in bed after falling asleep.
Talking therapy takes about 4-6 weeks and in that time a person learns to improve the relationship they have with sleep and with the simple act of lying in bed. They also learn how to maintain proper sleep hygiene and meditation techniques that help them relax before getting into bed.
The good news is that, after learning these techniques, you can use them whenever symptoms reoccur and that you can also share what you have learned with others.
The analysis was conducted on people who only suffered only from insomnia and not from other medical and psychiatric problems, like sleep apnea or depression.
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