Drugs are most commonly used to treat insomnia but it turned out that alternative approaches can be as effective in remedying this problem. According to researchers, many people resort, for relieving sleep disorders, to a form of complementary or alternative medicine. Yet, the number of doctors who recommend these types of therapies is quite small.
Alternative therapies to treat insomnia
Among complementary or alternative remedies for sleep disorders there are:
– Meditation – Meditation practice can reduce stress , which will lead to a healthy sleep. Meditation can affect the sleep pattern and the result will be a more restful sleep. Meditation develops parts of the brain that help regulate the physical health, including a healthy sleep.
– Phototherapy or light therapy – Light therapy is based on a circadian rhythm regulation. With this type of therapy balancing a person’s internal clock and its environment is attempted. Exposure to light will be done during the periods in which the person should be active, i.e. during the day, and at night the light will be dimmed for sleeping to install faster.
– Melatonin – This is a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle, which production decreases during the day and increases at night. Scientists do not know exactly how it works, but melatonin appears to be effective in treating conditions in which the body’s internal clock is out of sync with the light-dark phases of the environment, as it happens with people who work at night and sleep during the day. There is scientific evidence that melatonin receptors containing drugs can help restore failed sleep cycles to due to disruptions to normal sleep cycles.
– Yoga – Uses breathing exercises, meditation and philosophical principles to improve the mental and physical well-being of a person. People who practice yoga fall asleep faster and better than those who do not practice this type of relaxation.
– Acupuncture – This technique involves the stimulation of various energy points throughout the body. It is difficult to assess the link between acupuncture and insomnia, but some studies have found that acupuncture can reduce stress and anxiety and can balance the melatonin production at night.
– Biofeedback – Involves the use of various devices to help patients learn to control their bodily functions such as heart rate and temperature. Studies conducted to date confirm that this therapy that involves both mind and body could produce significant positive changes in sleep quality.
– Progressive muscle relaxation – Involves relaxing multiple muscle groups and maintaining a state of relaxation. The moment when muscle relaxation is done is very important (preferably at the same time every day, before sleep), but also the environment in which this type of relaxation will be done.