Insomnia

Earth from the moonResearch reveals that Mind-Body treatment for insomnia results in improved quality and quantity of nightly sleep. Although medications prescribed for sleep lead to a somewhat faster improvement in sleep, the improvements don’t last. A Mind-Body approach results in an outcome similar to medication in a few weeks, with superior outcome after 6-months to 2-years.

Clinical experience indicates that it typically doesn’t seem to matter how the insomnia started, but that insomnia continues beyond the initial causes due to new maladaptive sleep habits and anxious thoughts about the insomnia. The good news is that the maladaptive habits can be replaced with healthy sleep habits and that beneficial thoughts can replace the anxious thoughts.

Sleeping is a complicated physiological and psychological process involving stimulating specific brain areas and releasing specific neurochemicals. Stimulus control has been recognized in the literature as an empirically supported technique for the reduction of insomnia. It is not surprising that controlling sensory stimulation would be a benefit for sleeping well. The brain is a sensory sponge constantly absorbing and processing stimulation. Sensory deprivation studies have shown that if the brain is deprived of stimulation, it will create its’ own.

Clovers It is no wonder falling asleep is difficult since all the sensations are reduced at bedtime. It is dark. It is quiet. It is more comfortable do to less restrictive clothing (unless you sleep with shoes, belt, etc…). In this environment of less stimulation, the brain is craving (and creating stimulation). For someone experiencing insomnia, the decreased stimulation is fertile ground for excessive thinking. Stressful or anxious thoughts of the day are ruminated over. Stressful or anxious thoughts about not sleeping are included in the speeding thoughts. All of these thoughts lead to psychophysiological condition of arousal - not sleepiness. Learning more about sleep, relaxation, sleep habits, and practicing a few simple Mind-Body techniques can make a significant difference in the quality and quantity of sleep.

Like other medical conditions, it is important to have a physician evaluate medical symptoms. I am happy to speak with your physician or other healthcare provider to explain how a Mind-Body approach to insomnia can be an excellent adjunctive treatment. Please call me to learn more about how a Mind-Body approach for insomnia may help you.

Call Dr. Seay to learn more about how to reduce your insomnia and return balance to your life.

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