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, your medical provider may recommend any combination of the following treatments:

Sleep Hygiene

In many cases, by practicing good sleep 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 medicine providers who offer CBT-I.


Your medical provider may prescribe a medication to treat your insomnia. Sleeping pills that are 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 provider can decide which medication is best for you. You should only take a medication when supervised by a medical provider.

WARNING: Complex sleep behaviors such as sleepwalking or sleep driving can occur when you take a sleeping pill. Read this Consumer Update from the FDA to learn about these safety risks. 

When insomnia is caused by a medical condition, your medical provider 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 provider also may want to change medications that you take to limit potential side effects.

Although insomnia is common, it can be treated effectively with the help of the sleep team at an accredited sleep center.

Find an AASM-accredited sleep disorders center

Updated May 6, 2019

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