Most of us probably don’t fully value sleep or fully understand the importance of good sleep or good sleep patterns until they elude us. Intrinsically we may know it’s important but don’t have a complete picture of the impact on our physical and mental health until we struggle with poor sleep and are in need of some form of insomnia treatment.
The closest reference points most of us get are if we travel overseas and deal with time zone changes and jet lag or when looking after a newborn baby. In these circumstances, it’s easy to see just how ‘out of whack’ our bodies and minds feel when dealing with just a small amount of sleep disruption.
Various studies worldwide have shown the prevalence of insomnia in 10%–30% of the population, some even as high as 50%–60%. Interestingly, insomnia is most common in females, older adults, and people with medical and mental ill-health.
Furthermore, a 2021 National Library of Medicine study concluded that approximately one-quarter of adults in New Zealand might suffer from a chronic sleep problem. Sadly, insomnia symptoms and sleep problems were found to be higher among Māori than non-Māori, highlighting insomnia as a major public health issue in New Zealand.
These statics are likely to be even higher with several reports linking insomnia and sleep issues to the Covid19 global pandemic, with quotes like “perfect storm of sleep problems” and “Think of sleep problems as infection,” referenced in The Harvard Gazette article ‘ insomnia in a pandemic.’
So, with insomnia numbers increasing and a wider population dealing with insomnia, what insomnia treatment options are actually out there?
Lifestyle Insomnia Treatment Options (sleep Hygiene)
Create a Rhythm – Lifestyle insomnia treatment option
Waking up at the same time every day is a great way to help our body create a reliable rhythm. We should take the same philosophy and create a night-time routine that triggers positive sleep thoughts and behaviours, like maintaining a consistent bedtime, limiting screen use and ensuring your bedroom is tranquil and restful.
Exercise – Lifestyle insomnia treatment option
We all know the benefits of exercise; aiding sleep is just one of them. Although studies around precisely why exercise is a good insomnia treatment are limited, many reports show that people who exercise regularly have far fewer sleep issues than those who don’t.
Reduce caffeine – Lifestyle insomnia treatment option
The impacts of caffeine on good sleep patterns are twofold. Research has also shown that caffeine interferes with our circadian melatonin rhythms and blocks the body’s natural buildup of adenosine. Without the circadian melatonin rhythm, the onset of sleep is delayed; this is compounded as our bodies remain alert and vigilant without the buildup of adenosine. So removing caffeine or limiting when caffeine is consumed will significantly increase your body’s ability to drift into a natural sleep.
Treat pain – Lifestyle insomnia treatment option
Don’t put up with pain, especially if it’s impacting your sleep. There are many treatment options that will help get you out of pain, from the more traditional treatments like acupuncture, cupping, deep tissue, and chiropractic work to more modern treatments like shockwave and lasers. Seek a professional therapeutic health provider that can provide several pain treatment options will significantly increase your likelihood of success.
Therapeutic Insomnia Treatment Options
CBT is a ‘talking therapy’ available to treat mental health issues. It’s similar to behavioural therapy, but it also addresses unhelpful thought patterns or problematic thoughts. The idea behind CBT is that certain feelings or beliefs you have about yourself or situations in your life can lead to distress. Focus is applied to your present state of mind without necessarily focusing on finding out the causes of your problems.
Cognitive behavioural therapy as an insomnia treatment is typically a structured program that helps identify and replace thoughts and behaviours that cause or worsen sleep problems. The idea is that these more negative thoughts are replaced with habits that promote sound sleep.
Light Brainwave Entrainment stimulates the brain into entering a specific state by using high-frequency LED light. This light recalibrates brain activity, evoking the brain’s ‘frequency following’ response. An induced brainwave state can include enhanced focus, relaxation, meditation, or sleep induction. Simply put, brainwave entrainment pushes the entire brain into a particular state, adjusting or interrupting the brain’s response to certain situations. Essentially reprogramming how your brain processes and responds.
Brainwave Entrainment can help with anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, pain relief, meditation and creative expression, performance, emotional healing, and trauma. It is a simple yet effective way to lead your mind into states that you might usually find difficult to reach, allowing you to experience what those states feel like.
A variety of insomnia treatment options can be used in isolation or in conjunction with each other to increase your sleep health exponentially. Whether you choose CBT as an Insomnia treatment option, change your morning and evening sleep routines as an insomnia treatment option, or one of the new emerging insomnia treatments like brainwave entrainment is less important. What is important for people living with insomnia is knowing that numerous treatment options exist and that seeking treatment is essential.
When applied to keloid scars Extracorporeal Shockwave stimulates the deepest layers of skin and its underlying connective tissue. Deep inside the dermis scar tissue is broken down and remodelled and the metabolism increases enabling the body to work at resolving the keloid reaction. Most people find that their keloids change colour and start to revert to a normal skin tone with this type of treatment, and with time the size of the keloid usually reduces too.