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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Mental and Behavioural Disorders Treatment of insomnia

Treatment of insomnia

The treatment of insomnia depends on the cause and severity of insomnia. For many simple life style modifications like regular sleep schedule and avoiding caffeine, avoiding nicotine can help.


When sleep disorder interfere with normal activities sleeping aids like hypnotics are given for few weeks.

Medical treatment of insomnia

The common sleeping aids like diphenhydramine or doxylamine which are antihistamines can be taken. But these drugs are avoided in old age individual. These medications are also to be taken only for 7-10 days.

Melatonin is used for treatment mainly in older aged individuals. It is safe for a short term use.

Benzodiapines are commonly used medications for insomnia. The common benzodiazepines used are chlorodiazepoxide, diazepam, flurazepam, nitrazepam. These are long acting benzodiazepine. The drugs like temazepam, triazolam are short acting. Side effects are drowsiness in the morning, addiction, slurred speech, falls.

Zolpidem: It is non benzodiazepine drug used in somnia. They are short acting then benzodiazepines and they less likely to cause daytime drowsiness. It is mainly helpful in old aged people since they tolerate these medications well.

Rameleton is new sleeping pill developed. They are short acting. They can be used for long time since they are not habit forming. They affect the same area of brain as melatonin, the hormone which helps in sleep. It is also called as melatonin receptor agonists.

Antidepressants like trazodone relieve insomnia and prevent early morning awakening. Low doses are used to treat the insomnia.

Non medical treatment of insomnia

  • Sleep as much as you need.
  • Avoid oversleeping.
  • Follow sleep hygiene like sleep at the same time and wake up at the same time every day.
  • Avoid intake of heavy foods in the night.
  • Avoid alcohol consumption, smoking, and exercising in late evenings and in night.
  • Exercise regularly for about 20 minutes daily, at least 4-5 hours before going to sleep.
  • Keep the sleeping room quite, dark and cool for better sleep.
  • Try relaxation methods like yoga, meditation or listening to soft music.
  • Avoid taking long naps in the morning.
  • Avoid eating food, watching TV, reading books in the bed.
  • Avoid excessive fluids before sleeping.