Can insomnia be controlled?

This question was asked in Alexandria, Virginia on 08/27/2012.
I have periods were I can't sleep for days and I exercise and eat in a routine and I still can't sleep.

Doctors Answers (4)

J. Douglas Hudson, MD, DABSM
Answered on: 8/30/2012

Yes, most cases of insomnia can be controlled. First, we look for possible causes then proceed with a treatment plan. On some occasions, the first treatment is effective but usually there is a trial of more than one treatment. Treatments include removing "things" which are insomnia inducing (medications, sleep environment, etc), then we use medications and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) which is a combination of techniques such as biofeedback and relaxation. These all take time but are usually successful. jdh

Marjorie Yong, M.D.
Answered on: 8/28/2012

Sometimes....depending on the actual abnormality of your sleep disorder. You will need to be tested in order to see what your underlying medical abnormality is.

Richard J. Schumann Jr., MD
Answered on: 8/28/2012

Chronic insomnia can be difficult to treat adequately. The best type of long term therapy involves Cognitive Behaviorual Therapy (CBT) using methods of biofeedback and relaxation, stimulus control or sleep restriction to help maintain healthy sleep. These are far more effective that sedative hypnotic drugs or OTC drugs that contain benadryl. You should also consider getting a medical check up with your primary care physician to ensure no other physiologic problems are present that could be perpetuating this problems. You also may benefit by being screened for depression and get treatment if this is the case.

Gary K. Zammit, Ph.D.
Answered on: 8/28/2012

Yes. Insomnia can be controlled. The steps you've taken with diet and exercise are positive ones, and can help to improve sleep. However, it may take further effort to manage your sleep problem. There are excellent behavioral methods that are effective in dealing with insomna, and there are safe and effective medications available as well. Speak to your doctor, or seek the advice of a sleep specialist. You may be a candidate for behavioral or medication treatment (or both), and this may give you the relief you are seeking. There are many good treatments and excellent practitioners, so there is no need to suffer with persistent or recurrent insomnia.