ZocdocAnswersWhat can I do to rid myself of chronic insomnia?

Question

What can I do to rid myself of chronic insomnia?

I am a 33 year old woman. I've had chronic insomnia since I was five years old. I've been to doctors. I've done sleep study things. I've taken OTC and prescription medications and NOTHING works for me anymore. I just don't know what to do. I'm exhausted. Any suggestions?

Answer

It sounds like you have taken all of the steps that are generally recommended, and are still suffering the unfortunate side effects of a terribly misunderstood condition. At this point, I am sure that you are aware of the many tips that are available for improving sleep hygiene, such as only laying in bed for 20 minutes at a time, and then arising to do something like reading for a few minutes before trying again. Also, of course, avoid caffeine right before bed, exercise before bed, etc. At your stage in the game, you need more significant help, especially given that even the prescription sleeping medications have not proven helpful. For some people, the stress of not being able to sleep becomes an obstruction to good sleep and a productive life in and of itself. Many of these people will benefit from meeting with a psychiatrist or psychologist who can help these people adapt and put this condition into the appropriate context. Alternatively, getting a second or third opinion from a noted sleep medicine specialist can sometimes be beneficial, but would require an office visit to review the previous attempts and how much they have helped--if any.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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