Living with insomnia can be really tough. You want to fall asleep, but you can't. Other nights, you might fall asleep relatively quickly, only to wake up again an hour or two later. There are various ways you can manage your insomnia. Some people take over-the-counter sleep medicines while others visit a doctor for a prescription. Another option — one you may want to seriously consider — is sleep therapy. Through sleep therapy, you work with a therapist to identify and address the issues contributing to your insomnia. So, what are the benefits of this approach? Take a look.
You’re Treating the Cause, Not the Symptom
In most cases, insomnia is not the key problem. It's a symptom of another underlying problem, such as anxiety, PTSD, or even ADHD. When you take medication to address insomnia, they focus on the insomnia itself, forcing you to go to sleep. Alternatively, when you undergo sleep therapy your sleep therapist will work to identify the underlying contributors to your insomnia and then begin to address them. This is a more effective approach, long-term. Once you have the underlying condition under control, the insomnia should be much less bothersome.
You’ll Get Targeted Advice
When you visit a doctor complaining of insomnia, they might give you some generic tips for improving sleep, such as turning down your room temperature or staying away from your screen for an hour before bedtime. These tidbits of advice are valid, but they are not always applicable to every patient's situation. A sleep therapist will spend a lot more time with you, working to understand how you sleep and what factors may be contributing to your insomnia. They can then offer personalized, specific advice for better sleep hygiene, which can be more effective.
You’ll Learn Tactics That You Can Apply in Other Realms of Life
Most sleep therapy operates under the basic principles of cognitive behavioral therapy. Your therapist will work with you to identify the thought processes that are underlying your behavior — in this case, your staying up rather than sleeping. They'll then help you change your thoughts, which will help you change your behavior. Once you learn these tactics, you can apply them to other facets of your life. You can't really do that with sleep medicine!
If you do suffer from insomnia, make plans to see a sleep therapist. It's one of the most effective ways, if not the most effective way, to manage your insomnia long-term. For more information, contact a sleep therapy professional in your area.