These are the insomnia treatments that can actually cure insomnia

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When it comes to the best treatment option for insomnia, there is a ton of conflicting information out there.

I see plenty of bad advice handed out to people suffering from insomnia and I see many so-called insomnia cures that have little (or no) evidence on their safety or effectiveness get recommended on a regular basis.

Let’s change all that, starting today.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine conducts comprehensive reviews of scientific literature on a periodic basis to help determine which insomnia treatments actually work.

Want to know how to cure insomnia? Continue reading! Listed below are the insomnia treatments that have been comprehensively reviewed and graded by experts appointed by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.Legend
 Standard recommendation; a generally accepted strategy with a high level of clinical certainty.
 Guideline; a strategy with a moderate degree of clinical certainty.
 Uncertain clinical use; inconclusive or conflicting evidence or expert opinion.

 Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)

CBT combines cognitive and behavioral techniques to improve sleep. CBT addresses incorrect thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors towards sleep. These are often  the root cause of many cases of insomnia .

Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia usually includes a combination of sleep education, stimulus control therapy, sleep restriction, relaxation training, and sleep hygiene education.   You can learn more about CBT in my free two week insomnia sleep training course.

 Relaxation training

Relaxation techniques help reduce the mental arousal that can make sleep difficult. This mental arousal is sometimes described as a racing mind.

Relaxation training includes:

  • Guided imagery
  • Abdominal breathing
  • Progressive muscle relaxation

Progressive muscle relaxation involves tensing and relaxing muscles throughout the body in a methodical fashion. There are many ways to do this. Here’s one method:

  1. Lie in bed with the lights off
  2. While breathing in, tense the muscles in your toes for about five seconds
  3. Quickly release the tension and breathe out
  4. Relax for about 30 seconds. Feel the looseness in your relaxed muscles and notice how different they feel compared to when they were tensed
  5. Repeat one more time or move up the body to another muscle group (such as your calves) and repeat the process
  6. Continue until you reach the top of your body

 Stimulus control therapy

This technique helps to associate the bed with sleep (not wakefulness) and converts negative associations into positive ones.

Stimulus control involves:

  • Avoiding daytime naps
  • Only going to bed when sleepy
  • Keeping a regular sleep/wake schedule
  • Getting out of bed if you can’t fall asleep
  • Using the bed for sleep and sexual activity only

   You can learn more about stimulus control in my free sleep training course for insomnia.

 Multicomponent therapy

This uses various components of CBT, but not all of them. For example, multicomponent therapy may include stimulus control, relaxation training, and sleep hygiene education — but not sleep restriction.

 Sleep restriction

Although commonly referred to as sleep restriction, I prefer to use the term restricting time allotted for sleep in order to avoid the  common misperception that sleep restriction reduces sleep duration.  It doesn’t!

This technique involves reducing the amount of time spent in bed to more closely match the amount of sleep you’re getting. It is designed to increase sleep pressure, increase sleep duration, and help you associate the bed with sleep — not wakefulness.

To try this technique, you’ll need to keep a sleep diary for at least a week. Every day, write down the time you went to bed the previous night, the time you got out of bed in the morning and how many hours of sleep you got.

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