A live-in personal assistant named August, an insomnia sufferer I interviewed for my book, was convinced that acupuncture was the path to better sleep. One day he took his insomnia to an acupuncturist trained in China. After that, he was hooked.
Sat Bir Khalsa, a professor and researcher at Harvard Medical School, thinks that among alternative treatments for insomnia, yoga may also be a viable solution for people who feel too aroused to sleep.
I attended Khalsa’s presentation at a conference a while back. Here’s the gist of what he said.
Trazodone has never been approved for the treatment of insomnia. Yet it rose to the top of the bestseller charts as a medication for sleeplessness in the 1990s and enjoys great popularity still. Here’s one explanation for its appeal.
Will a cup of warm milk at bedtime entice the Sandman your way?
Research suggests there’s a link between food and sleep, say the authors of a comprehensive review of the effects of diet on sleep length and quality, and milk is rich in tryptophan, an amino acid important to sleep.
Most insomniacs I’ve met dismiss melatonin supplements as useless, and with good reason. If you follow directions and take the melatonin an hour before bedtime, it’s little more than a sugar pill.
But taking a melatonin supplement several hours before bedtime may give you better results.
Sleeping on the couch isn’t always a bad idea. Some insomnia sufferers are light sleepers prone to high-frequency brain activity even during the deeper stages of sleep, or so the experts say. We pick up on information in the environment that normal sleepers readily tune out.
The problem may be that there are disturbances in the bedroom itself.