Timely treatment of short-term insomnia is valuable, as it may prevent progression to a chronic condition, which is much harder to alleviate. Psychological treatments are effective and pharmacotherapy may be either unnecessary or used as a short-term adjunct. The approaches are to:
• treat any precipitating cause (above)
• educate about trigger factors for sleep and reassure that sleep will improve
• establish good sleep hygiene
• consider hypnotic medication.
Sleep hygiene keep regular bedtimes and rising times reduce daytime napping daytime (but not evening) exercise and exposure to daylight avoid stimulants, alcohol and cigarettes in evening establish bedtime routine — 'wind down' —
milk drink may be helpful avoid dwelling on problems in bed bed should be comfortable and not too warm or too cold.
In the treatment of long-term insomnia the most important factor is anxiety about sleep, arising from conditioning behaviours that predispose to heightened arousal and tension at bedtime. Thus the n
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