Using CBT to Cure Insomnia Problems

CBT, or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, is  essentially a psycho-therapeutic method for dealing with some insomnia problems. It's an approach which aims specifically at cognitive, emotional, and behaviors considered dysfunctional or problematic and in turn, lead to sleeplessness. There is enough empirical evidence to suggest that CBT can be useful and effective as one of many insomnia cures and treatments. There's even a great deal of testimonial evidence that suggests CBT is most beneficial when used to augment other insomnia treatments, such as meditation, white noise, and audio therapy.

CBT uses 4 basic components to try and combat people afflicted with sleeplessness. 
  1. Stimulus control
  2. Sleep scheduling
  3. Sleep restriction
  4. Sleep hygiene education
When deciding whether or not to go the route of CBT, it's critically important that you first rule out other possible culprits for your insomnia. This is a good general rule for any sleep disorder. In order to be sure your issue actually requires one or more insomnia cures, the following must be eliminated, or upon discovery, properly addressed:
  • Other psychological issues, such as mood disorders, depression, anxiety disorders, PTSD, e.t.c...
  • Unknown physical illness or disease that remains undiscovered. Insomnia can manifest as the body's immune system reacts to a new problem, sending alarm signals to the brain that can cause insomnia.
  • Known medical conditions, such as chronic pain, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, menopause, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, e.t.c...
  • Medication side effects, whether being used as a prescribed treatment or a simple over the counter self medication. It's always important to note the side effects, and to watch out for those drugs that contain large amounts of caffeine. (a substantial amount of over the counter pain medication has caffeine included)

4 Reasons Why Bright Light Therapy Can Cure Sleepless Nights

Have you heard about DSPS (delayed sleep phase syndrome)? Many haven't. But if you've watched the truly hilarious video I posted above, then you know there are companies out there acutely aware of DSPS and actively developing products to help combat the problem. We here at Insomnia cures have taken up the cause as well, delving into the research and potential benefits of the treatment for DSPS, which is divided between antidepressants and light therapy.

To understand how light therapy works, one has to understand the effects of light on our overall well being. And before you write off light therapy as "just another useless toy", do note that The National Sleep Foundation endorses the use of these machines, they publish a guide titled "Managing Light for Better Sleep", and they work closely with Philips products such as the Philips Energy Light.

Many of us who live in cold or wet climates often fall victim to "Seasonal Affective Disorder", known as SAD (truly an appropriate acronym). SAD has been related to a lack of serotonin production, in which cases anti depressants such as Fluoxetine have been shown beneficial in treatment, since the drug increases the amount of the enzyme Serotonin N-acetyltransferase, resulting in an antidepressant-like effect. Most people suffering SAD or SSAD (Subsyndromal Seasonal Affective Disorder) simply fall victim to the lack of solar, light, and UV exposure. Somehow the body reacts to a lack of appropriate daily light by retarding the production of many of the hormones and chemicals we need to feel vibrant and experience normal emotive responses.

Long story short, since I truly don't want my site to turn into a text book, SAD can be treated with light therapy, and has been used effectively as one of many insomnia cures that that become necessary as a result of SAD. How it works might seem simple enough, but there has been numerous research done to dig into the deeper answers for why light therapy is beneficial to the insomnia patient and the person suffering seasonal depression.

How Does It Work to Cure Insomnia?
  • Exposure to light activates neuro-endocrine processes in the body. The main receptors for light absorption exist through the eyes and the skin. Such processes include regulating the production of hormones and chemicals that are shown as deficient in certain insomnia problems, as well as SAD patients. As such, these chemicals are the body's own sleep  agent, and any increase in their production results in less occurrences of insomnia
  • Biophotonics is the study of biophotons emitted by biological cells, and has proven that cells communicate via biophotons. Simply put, our cells emit light and receive light as part in parcel of the physiological process of symbiotic communication with the world we live in. This field of research has therefore shown by empirical evidence that our bodies, down to our very cells, react and co-mingle with light to benefit our well being. By increasing the exposure to light at certain times of the day, you are communicating to the body's natural rhythms, telling it when it's own natural relaxation/wind down process should occur.
  • Night Owl Insomnia - The layman's term for DSPS. This process is when the person is seeking insomnia cures due to severe trouble winding down to sleep until very late in the evening. This syndrome usually forms in the teens and results in a maladjusted body rhythm that fails to recognize late night as the time for resting.  Here is where light therapy has proven to be most effective. By exposure to light therapy for 2 hours in the morning, along with a restriction from bright light in the hours after dusk, light therapy successfully re-calibrates the circadian rhythm and induces sleep at much earlier hours. 
  • Harvard Research has concluded that light therapy is a meaningful and highly successful treatment, with documented positive results in their own sleep tests. Yes. Harvard. So folks, don't take my word on it. Look to the world's most esteemed research University. Harvard has publicly stated that some Light Therapy products work in over 86% of their own instances of applied research. And folks, they didn't study normal insomnia victims, they were studying astronauts on the International Space Station. I think it's pretty safe to assume you can trust that research. :)
In closing I feel it necessary to add that my research into light therapy was strictly based on it's application as one of many insomnia cures; but what I discovered is that light therapy has many health benefits completely not related to sleep cycles. It benefits moods and dispositions, it increases the body's production of the hormones and chemicals we require to be as healthy as we can. It has shown marked improvement in a person's daily energy levels. In fact the list of things that light therapy can do to cause improvement in overall health is rather breathtaking.

So I strongly suggest that anyone thinking about it should get a light therapy machine. In the grand scheme of things it's not expensive. You can click here to get Philips most promising machine, at a significant discount from store bought prices.

4 Useful Treatments To Help Cure Insomnia

"Count sheep? OK, sure, that will surely cure my chronic, long term, debilitating insomnia. Thanks for nothing, knucklehead". That sentence is the normal, frustrated response from any insomniac when told this kind of lame advice. The truth is, if some of us actually resorted to this comically useless home remedy we'd have counted 640,000 sheep and still be at the task when the morning alarm sounded. As it applies to insomnia cures, counting sheep is about as useful as rubbing a cow belly for luck.

That said, there is the tiniest proportion of logic behind why people advise you to count sheep, the reasoning being that by busying the mind with a mundane and boring task, you free your mind from worrying over life's stresses. Since it is such a boring task, apparently counting sheep can also bring about a lull that induces the sleep cycles to begin. So all in all, as an impetus for better ideas, this ridiculous technique could be thought of as useful. Like I said, as an impetus for better ideas. In theory, sure, counting sheep should work. In practice? Absolutely not, at least not for someone with true insomnia problems.

The Monster In Your Medicine Chest

If you've suffered long enough with insomnia, there is every possibility that you've ended up at the doctors office and asked for a prescription to aid your issues, to provide that much needed rest and relief. As insomnia cures go, there's nothing like popping a pill and being temporarily relieved.

However, the moment we take these pills we are instantly beginning to build a tolerance to the effects from these prescribed drugs, and unless they are used strictly for short term relief, the insomniac runs a serious risk of addiction/dependence on said medication. This can lead to strong dependence, and eventually some of the worst withdrawal symptoms of any drug, whether prescribed or considered illegal.

Most sleeping medications are benzodiazepene class drugs, which is normally what a GP will prescribe for insomnia simply because these formulas work like gangbusters to combat a poor sleep regime. Drugs like Ambien, Xanax, Valium, Ativan, e.t.c... are all benzodiazepine class drugs. In effect, with benzos you need only take a pill, wait about 30 minutes and presto, you're in la la land. However, these “benzos” are quickly becoming one of the most abused substances of all the prescribed drugs.

Insomnia Cures That Soothe The Ears

Anyone reading this site has likely been there and done that. You lay down, bone tired, and yet sleep will not come. This is the tried and true reason why some of us seek out the most ridiculous insomnia cures, remedies that do nothing but hurt you in the long run. Some of us turn to alcohol. Huge mistake. Others might get prescriptions from the doctor, which in the long term can serve only to exacerbate the problem of insomnia, making it worse. Some of just us lay in bed for hours tossing and turning, some of us get up and read or watch extremely bad late night TV. One thing we all have in common though, is the intimate knowledge that the most insidious thing about insomnia is when you truly need and want a good night's rest, it just will not come without some form of outside help.

There are wholly natural programs that have been proven to help the insomniac sleep. The problem with holistic or natural insomnia cures is that most hard core insomniacs consider it putting a band aid on a bullet wound. Therefore, most of us fail to recognize a potential cure as being useless, simply because seems just too darned easy.