Doctors Answers (2)
Getting a better night's sleep without taking sleeping medication will require an investigation into several issues: First, are there reasons why you have trouble sleeping? Pain, anxiety, noise, medications for other disorders, etc. Secondly, are the "sleeping medications" you have taken truly for sleep (FDA approved for insomnia) or are they medications which have drowsiness as a side effect and are often used for insomnia (Benadryl, trazodone, etc.). Thirdly, the wine you have tried does help one fall asleep but when it wears off there are rebound issues which affect sleep maintenance. Four, you may be getting enough sleep time but not true restorative sleep which would account for the darkness around your eyes.
There are medications which help to increase restorative sleep, not just sleep, but good sleep. A sleep study can be helpful if you are sleeping some and have awakenings which could be secondary to sleep disordered breathing or leg movements. A sleep study will also reveal if you are getting restorative sleep and consolidated, not fragmented, sleep. Fifth, once the above issues have been addressed, you may be a candidate for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) which teaches relaxation and imaging techniques to induce sleep. This therapy often in combination with low doses of a sleep aide often help patients with insomnia for which no obvious cause can be found, "primary insomnia". Your primary care physician can make the appropriate referral for the above.
It sounds like this is a chronic problem an needs to be addressed by a sleep specialist. tehey want you to keep a sleep log and look at your diet and lifestyle and screen you foor possible mood disorder. they may prescirbe CBT Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to help remedy this problem which has good long term success. Self medicating with alcohol or taking sleeping pills is not a wise long term solution to your problem as you unfortunately found out.