Treatments for Insomnia

A short-term bout of insomnia is best handled by doing nothing. It's important not to compensate by staying in bed longer or napping during the day.

Chronic insomnia responds well to behavioral treatments aimed at eliminating anxiety and stopping the behaviors that wind up worsening and perpetuating the condition.

Cognitive behavioral therapy targets the thoughts and actions that disrupt sleep. It may include relaxation training to reduce anxiety. It focuses on establishing a sleep schedule that restricts the time you spend in bed awake.

All effective treatments for insomnia encourage good "sleep hygiene." Good sleep hygiene includes:

• Sleeping and waking at the same time every day (including weekends)
• Learning simple meditation and practicing it before bedtime
• Getting adequate exercise during the day
• Limiting caffeine consumption and restricting it to mornings
• Avoiding alcohol, which is a great sleep disrupter
• Keeping the bedroom dark, especially as people get older
• Keeping the bedroom cool (and sleeping under blankets)

Dig Deeper in the Diagnosis Dictionary

Find a nearby specialist for face-to-face help.

Treatments for Insomnia Tests

Sleep Hygiene

Are you getting the shut-eye you need?


Are you suffering from depression?


Do stress and anxiety interfere with your life?

Current Issue

Let It Go!

It can take a radical reboot to get past old hurts and injustices.

Sleep Blogs

  • Ian McMahan, Ph.D.


    Take control of your inner clock
  • Patrick McNamara

    Dream Catcher

    The neuroscience of our night life
  • Michelle Carr

    Dream Factory

    Deconstructing the sleeping brain
  • Dreaming in the Digital Age

    New Technologies for Exploring the Art and Science of Dreams
  • Ann Glauser, Ph.D.

    Golden Slumbers

    More than just a good night's rest
  • Meir H. Kryger

    Sleep and Be Well

    Mysteries of the slumbering psyche.
  • Michael Breus

    Sleep Newzzz

    Information from "The Sleep Doctor" for better sleep and better health
  • Dennis Rosen, M.D.

    Sleeping Angels

    How children's sleep affects their health and well being.