When Should I Seek Help?
If your sleep has been disturbed for more than a month and interferes with the way you feel or function during the day, see your healthcare professional or ask for a referral to a sleep disorders specialist.
Sometimes insomnia can be helped through education and information. Some people naturally sleep less than others and merely need to give up the idea that everyone needs eight hours of sleep. Counseling can help people whose insomnia stems from poor sleep habits. In other cases, medication or evaluation at a sleep disorders center may be advised.
If you are advised to get an evaluation at a sleep disorders center, you may be asked to keep a sleep diary showing sleeping and waking patterns for a week or two. If you attend a sleep center, you can expect a thorough physical and psychological examination.
Can Sleeping Pills Help?
Sleeping pills offer sounder sleep and can improve alertness the following day. Sleeping pills should be used in conjunction with behavioral intervention, i.e. sleep hygiene such as adequate sleep time and cognitive changes such as relaxation procedures and establishing that all "worry-time" be outside the bedroom.
Misuse or overuse of sleeping pills:
Sleeping pills can be helpful on a short-term basis, however long-term use should be approached carefully and on an individual basis or need.