What can you do besides take sleep aides to sleep better?

This question was asked in Mayville, Wisconsin on 11/28/2012.
I take sleep aides, and they're not working. What else can I do?

Doctors Answers (2)

J. Douglas Hudson, MD, DABSM
Answered on: 11/29/2012

By sleep aides I assume you are speaking of FDA approved medications designed just for sleep and not over the counter agents or other drugs which make you sleepy. These drugs would include antidepressants, anticonvulsants, antipsychotics, etc. Have you tried Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) which includes programs to "calm" the brain activity and allow you to fall asleep. This often includes methods such as biofeedback, relaxation and imaging techniques. Working on the sleep environment and other sleep hygiene rules often help. Keeping the room temperature near 70 degrees is often most conducive to sleep.

Jeannine Louise Gingras, MD
Answered on: 11/28/2012

Depends on the reason you are not sleeping well. Evaluation of that would be to take a history, perform a physical exam and perhaps obtain a sleep study.