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What are the treatments for insomnia; can it be cured?

The treatment of insomnia depends largely on the cause of the problem. In cases where an obvious situational factor is responsible for the insomnia, correcting or removing the cause generally cures the problem. For example, if insomnia is related to a transient stressful situation, such as jet lag or an upcoming examination, it will then be cured when the situation resolves.

Generally speaking, the treatment of insomnia can be divided into non-medical or behavioral approaches and medical therapy. Both approaches are necessary to successfully treat the problem, and combinations of these approaches may be more effective than either approach alone.

When it's related to a known medical or psychiatric condition, then appropriate treatment of that problem is in the forefront of therapy for insomnia in addition to the specific therapy for insomnia itself. Without adequately addressing the underlying cause, insomnia will likely go on despite taking aggressive measures to treat it with both medical and non-medical therapies.

Return to Insomnia (Symptoms, Causes, Remedies, and Cures)

See what others are saying

Published: January 19

I have had chronic insomnia for years now. Have tried almost every sleeping pill and natural method there is. Some would work for a while and then stop. I have very chronic pain due to lumbar fusion and just very recently a cervical 2 level fusion. My doctor put me on 25 mg Elavil(amitriptyline) at bedtime. At first I slept so hard I was having trouble waking up in the morning. (this was actually given to me for nerve pain) But I continued to take it. After 2 weeks it had tapered off and I wasn't sleeping as good. He recently increased my dosage to 75 mg and I am sleeping all night and can still function in the day! So as of right now, I love it!

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Comment from: paigers, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: December 20

I have chronic insomnia where I go a few days without sleep. Normally I have issues initiating sleep, but I take a dose of melatonin and Benadryl, which helps me fall asleep within an hour. I have to take it eight hours before my desired awake time or otherwise I'd be extremely drowsy throughout the day. Sometimes the medicine doesn't work, and I wake up frequently during the night and early morning. I am definitely against sleeping pills because I don't want to have a physiological dependence or suffer withdrawal.

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Comment from: DavidA, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: June 15

For years I have had trouble falling and staying asleep or wakening and unable to fall back asleep. I have a particularly stressful job and I would change my circumstance if I could afford to do so, but that's not happening anytime soon. I am a coffee drinker and though I have quit and resumed many times, I never found that avoiding caffeine helped my issue. I also have mild depression and these days have had success in minimizing it. I take OTC antihistamine to help me fall asleep, and that works 80% of the time, but there are times where nothing seems to help. I have tried everything from prescriptions to melatonin supplements. Even recently I had a pulled muscle where the hydro-codeine painkiller could not even help me fall asleep. When I awake in the night I have mentioned jokingly to coworkers that the "committee" called a meeting to discuss all things worrisome.

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