The Comprehensive Guide to Sleep Deprivation: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment: Chapter 60

Chapter 6

Treatment of Sleep Deprivation

The Comprehensive Guide to Sleep Deprivation: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment – Yoo Health

If a person cannot physically get to sleep, as a result of physical or psychological difficulties, treatment is required. Often, a therapist or sleep specialist will be the one to offer guidance and advice, as well as coping techniques for reaching a restful state of sleep. Generally speaking, there are two main treatment paths that can be taken – behavioral and cognitive measures, and medications.

#1 Behavioral and cognitive treatments

There are a number of excellent and effective methods for enhancing sleep that does not require any medication, and these can be found below:

Relaxation techniques: This is a progressive form of muscle relaxing that involves the tensing and untensing of different muscles in the body to help maintain calm. Additionally, medication, mindfulness, breathing exercises, and guided imagery can provide masses of help in this area. There is also the option to use audio recordings to help people fall asleep at night.

Stimulation control: This involves taking control of your activities before you go to bed, as well as your surroundings, so that you can moderate your sleeping patterns effectively. This means doing things like only spending time in bed when you are sleepy, controlling the association between being in bed and being ready to go to sleep.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): This is an incredibly helpful type of therapy that has been designed to help people understand and change the thought patterns behind specific behaviors. It works to challenge irrational and unhealthy beliefs, while also promoting calm and positive thoughts. In this way, it can be used to help develop a better and healthier sleeping pattern.

The Comprehensive Guide to Sleep Deprivation: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment – Yoo Health

#2 Medications

If a non-medicinal treatment has been ineffective, there are medications available that can induce sleep. There are some that can be purchased over the counter from your pharmacist, and others that can only be picked up with a valid prescription from your doctor. There is a whole load available, and your doctor will help you pick the one that should work best for you.

It should be noted that some people form a dependency on sleeping pills, and so it is important to try and limit the amount that you take and use non-medicinal remedies when and if you can.

#3 Home management

On the plus side, most of the negative effects of sleep deprivation are revered once you get the sufficient amount of sleep. The best treatment is often satisfying your biological need to sleep, preventing deprivation, and paying back the sleep debt that you have accumulated. You can also follow the sleep hygiene rules, which is something we look at in detail a little later on.

#4 Paying off the sleep debt

When you do not get the amount of sleep that you require, you will begin to accumulate sleep debt. So, if you need to sleep for eight hours and you only sleep for five, you have accumulated three hours of sleep debt. Every night that you continue to follow the pattern adds more sleep debt.

The only way you can erase your debt is to get more sleep, and it can take some time to fully recover depending on the amount you have accumulated. However, you will be able to feel the positive effects of paying the debt off very quickly.

In order to pay back your sleep debt, you need to start getting the sleep you need with the addition of an extra hour or so each night until the debt is paid. Once it is done, you can subtract the extra hour from your sleep schedule. As long as you are making a conscious effort to recover, it does not matter how many hours you have lost to sleep deprivation, and you will begin to feel better quickly.

However, if your sleep deprivation is ongoing and the negative symptoms persist even though you are practicing good sleep hygiene, you should speak to your doctor as soon as possible to check for underlying health conditions.

Tomorrow, come back here for Chapter 7: Precautions of Treatment of Sleep Deprivation and sign up for Alaska Sleep Clinic’s blog.

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