As Well Be

Insomniac: the advice of the specialist doctor

The advice of Professor Joel Paquereau, sleep specialist doctor, professor of neuro-physiology at CHU Poitiers.

What advice do you usually give to an insomniac patient?

I will try to avoid medication first. Except in cases of psychiatric or depressive insomnia, obviously. Insomnia is one of the symptoms of depression. In this case, the doctor must prescribe antidepressants, in addition to a psychotherapeutic follow-up.

In the case of chronic insomnia, it is necessary to "re-educate" the patient. Our role is then to give him information, to question him about the causes of his insomnia and to make a contract with him. He will have to respect a certain number of instructions which will aim to replace his ritual of taking of cachet by another ritual, more adapted to his health. That takes time.

Can we cure chronic insomnia?

Yes of course ! Sleep centers, psychologists, psychiatrists or doctors are there for that. It takes a lot of patience. We do not stop the hypnotics in three days. You need support, it's better.

If you want to stop alone, it's possible too. It takes a lot of will, to respect rules of hygiene and to trim, little by little, its tablets.
The difficulty of the insomniac is that he wants to sleep. He only thinks about that, or almost. He stays in bed, waiting for sleep and stimulates his brain on the search for sleep, which has the opposite effect. So you have to reduce your time in bed. Go to bed when you want to sleep. And knowing how to settle for a few hours, sometimes.

There is no universal technique for curing chronic insomnia. It's always a personal affair. It's sometimes long. We do not necessarily get a baby sleep, but we can recover a natural sleep and good quality.

If you want to react, bring your testimony or ask a question? See you in our Sleep and Fatigue FORUM .

Read also :
> Sleep well: 10 tips to remember
> Those dreams that disturb sleep: can we free ourselves from it?
> Quiz: 14 tips to sleep better

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