Difficulty in sleeping is a condition which arises when a person loses his/her natural ability to fall asleep. This affects the person in getting the quality sleep which is required for both body and mind. Inability to fall asleep and feeling sleepy throughout the day both are associated with the sleeping problem. Some of the common sleeping problems that can be seen affecting the people around the globe are narcolepsy, sleep apnea, insomnia, circadian rhythm sleep disorder, and restless leg syndrome. Some sleeping problems can be due to an underlying health condition as well.
Insomnia is a condition wherein a person loses the ability to not only falls asleep but also to remain sleeping. In the condition of sleep apnea a person stops breathing for a few seconds in his/her sleep which leads to waking up at night. Narcolepsy is a condition wherein a patient feels sleepy the entire day leading to falling asleep without any warning. In the condition of restless leg syndrome, the patient has this urge of moving his legs. The symptoms of this condition are mostly observed at night. In circadian rhythm disorder, the body is in the state of jet lag condition. Sleep-related problems can happen to anyone but these are more common in patients suffering from the condition of anxiety and depression.
For providing relief to the patients suffering from various sleeping problems a doctor may prescribe several treatments. A doctor may advise some medication which can help the person in falling asleep. A doctor may also prescribe cognitive behavioral therapy. Besides these treatments, a doctor may recommend the patient to bring some changes to his/her lifestyle. Sometimes changes in the lifestyle bring about the required change in the sleeping habits of the patient. The doctor may choose a specific treatment based on the severity of the condition of the sleeping problem.
Three types of treatment are available for curing the patient suffering from sleeping problems. A doctor may prescribe medicine, cognitive behavioral therapy and changes in the lifestyle.
The eligibility of a person for the treatment of sleeping problems depends upon the symptoms which are being exhibited by him/her. A person needs to fulfill the following criteria for the doctor to start the treatment if
Before prescribing any treatment to the patients a doctor will first determine whether the concerned patient is suffering from the sleeping problem or not. In order to confirm the problem, a doctor may take into consideration the following :
A doctor may advise the patient to keep a log of their sleep like noting the time when they go for sleep, when they wake up and what is the average duration of the sleep. A doctor may advise a patient to go for a sleep study to further strengthen his/her doubt. If even after going through such procedures a confirmed diagnosis of the sleeping problem cannot be made then such patients are deemed ineligible to start the treatment.
There is hardly a treatment which does not have any side effects associated with it. Medicines used for the treatment of sleeping problems also exhibit some side effects. Patients using this medicine may experience either minor side effects or a major side effect. A minor side effect may vanish after some time. In case of a major side effect, emergency medical attention is required to be taken. The side effects of these medicines include
Cognitive behavior therapy has also been recently found to have some side effects. These side effects are visible in nearly 43 percent of the people going for this therapy. The side effects of cognitive behavior therapy include distress, further deterioration in the condition, stigma, strained relations with friends and family, increased crying, and feeling of shame or guilt. In case any of these side effects persists or there any other health issues arising during or after treatment, it is advised to kindly consult the health specialist immediately.
A patient who has undergone treatment for problems associated with the sleep is required to follow some post-treatment guidelines so that the problem does not reappear. Some of the guidelines are given below
The extent of recovery and the time taken for complete recovery depends on patient to patient. A person suffering from a minor sleeping problem might get better in a few days while a person suffering from a serious sleeping problem might take weeks to recover from it. The patients using medicine for the treatment of sleeping problem may need a minimum of six months to recover completely. In some rare cases, the medicines are used for a longer duration than six months. Similarly, in the cognitive behavior therapy, the time of recovery of the patient depends upon the severity of the condition of the sleeping problem.
In India, the average cost of prescription medicine used for the treatment of sleeping problems ranges from 50 rupees to 100 rupees per strip. Among the other countries like the United States and the United Kingdom, cognitive behavioral therapy is cheaper in India. The cognitive behavior therapy in India costs a person in the range of 500 to 5000 rupees based on the fees being taken by the doctor and the number of sessions required for complete recovery.
For a patient who has undergone any treatment for sleeping problems may exhibit similar symptoms in the future. There is a possibility that if a patient who had sleeping problems in the past may encounter any upsetting situation in the present or future may begin to feel problems in sleeping. Thus, it is very difficult to say whether the results of the treatment are permanent in nature.
Besides treatment with prescription medicine and cognitive behavior therapy, a patient may opt for several natural alternatives. A patient can make use of melatonin supplements for relief in their sleeping problems. A patient may also opt for yoga and several other relaxation techniques. A patient can also incorporate magnesium rich food product in their diet to aid them in sleeping like almonds, wheat bran, and legumes. A herb by the name of valerian can also be used for improving sleep. Patients suffering from sleep apnea can make use of a CPAP machine to help in curing sleeping problems.