Three Types Of Sleep Therapy Your Doctor May Recommend

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If you are not sleeping well, this is definitely something you'll want to bring to your doctor's attention. A lack of sleep can really interfere with your quality of life and your overall health. There are pharmaceutical medications that can be prescribed for better sleep, but your doctor may also recommend one or more of the following types of sleep therapy.

Stimulus Control Therapy

Over time, your body and mind start to recognize certain signs that it's time to go to sleep — and they respond to those signs by going to sleep. If you are struggling to sleep, it could be because your body is not recognizing those signs as it should. Through stimulus control therapy, you can re-teach your body to recognize the signs that it's time to sleep. You may, for instance, be instructed not to do anything other than sleep when you're in bed. This way, your body learns that when you climb into bed, you go to sleep. You may also be told to play a certain type of music when you're ready to sleep. This can become another sleep stimulus for your mind and body.

Sleep Restriction Therapy

Only letting yourself sleep for a certain period of time may seem counter-intuitive. But it can be really helpful in the long run since it ensures that you are actually tired when you go to bed. It will also teach you to take advantage of the time you are in bed to sleep since there's only so much of that time. With sleep restriction therapy, your therapist may start by having you spend only 7 hours in bed — no more, and no less. At first, you might only sleep 4 or 5 of those hours. But if you never let yourself stay in bed longer to "catch up," you will start to sleep longer and longer, until you sleep for most or all of those 7 hours.

Thought Challenge Therapy

If anxiety and racing thoughts keep you up at night, this is the type of therapy your doctor may recommend. Your therapist will work with you on new thoughts you can introduce to combat any intrusive ones. They may teach you to question those racing thoughts by asking yourself questions like "how often does that actually happen?" and "what's the worst thing that can happen?" These strategies can help you relax and fall asleep a lot sooner.

These types of therapy can be really helpful for those who struggle with sleep. Talk to your doctor to learn more.