Sleep Education

American Academy of Sleep Medicine 

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Insomnia - Treatment

The treatment for insomnia depends on its underlying cause. For chronic insomnia a board certified sleep medicine physician may recommend any combination of the following treatments:

Sleep Hygiene

In many chronic insomnia cases, by practicing good hygiene and changing your sleep habits you can improve your sleep. Sleep hygiene is a set of bedtime habits and rituals you can do every night to improve how you sleep.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia

Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, or CBT-I, addresses the thoughts and behaviors that keep you from sleeping well. It also helps you learn new strategies to sleep better. CBT-I can include techniques for stress reduction, relaxation and sleep schedule management. The Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine has a directory of behavioral sleep specialists who provide CBT-I.


Your board certified sleep medicine physician may prescribe medication to treat your insomnia. Sleeping pills that are specifically approved to treat insomnia are called hypnotics. You may build a tolerance to these medications over time. Some medications that treat other problems also may help you sleep. Your doctor can decide which medication is best for you. You should only take a medication when supervised by a doctor.

In cases where the insomnia is caused by a medical condition, the doctor may refer you to a specialist who can treat the underlying condition. The course of insomnia is likely to change as your medical condition improves. Your board-certified sleep medicine physician may also want to change any medications that you currently take if he suspects the drugs are related to your insomnia.

Although insomnia is common, most people can find a treatment that works for them with the help of a board-certified sleep medicine physician at an accredited sleep center.

Find an accredited sleep disorders center.

Updated March 4, 2015

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