Insomnia Medical Therapies
Insomnia from shift changes
- Behavioral therapy has been useful in modifying the insomnia and symptoms of sleep deprivation in shift workers.
- A person should shift their schedules forward in a clockwise direction, from days to evening, then evenings to night shift, and allow sufficient time to adapt (at least one week) between shift changes.
- Bright light is a potent stimulus to circadian rhythm. Bright light is being examined as a rhythm synchronizer.
- Shift workers should stress the importance of good sleep habits with regular bedtime and awakening.
- Supplemental naps may be necessary to ensure work time alertness.
- Discuss the use of naps with a doctor.
- Some people promote using short-acting sedatives in the first few days following a shift change, but not everyone agrees.
Insomnia from Acute Stresses
- Stress may be positive or negative, and concerns about sleep may vary. Many stressors will go away with support and reassurance.
- Education about the importance of good sleep habits is also helpful.
- Some people may need short-term treatment with medications. A doctor will often work toward the lowest effective dose with a short-acting sedative to achieve proper sleep.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/8/2014
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