If a sleep disorder is affecting your health, we have good news! There are multiple ways to improve your ability to get the rest you need. In addition to CPAP therapy and dental sleep medicine, behavioral sleep medicine can help you get more rest without medications or treatment devices. This therapy is particularly helpful to people who are experiencing insomnia. If your sleep medicine specialist has recommended behavioral therapy, you may have some questions. 

What exactly is behavioral sleep medicine? 

Behavioral sleep medicine uses various behavioral modification therapies to improve sleep quality and duration. It is used instead of, or in conjunction with, low-dose medications. Some people cannot tolerate hypnotic medications or prefer not to take them. Behavioral sleep therapy can be an effective alternative for many types of sleep disturbances, including insomnia.

What therapies are used? 

Therapies used alone or in conjunction with each other include:

  • Progressive relaxation
  • Stimulus control 
  • Sleep hygiene instruction 
  • Sleep restriction 
  • Systemic desensitization 
  • Adjustments of sleep/wake schedules 

Cognitive restructuring techniques, including imagery and assertions, may also be recommended. For some people, bright light therapy and psychotherapy are also helpful. For people whose weight and eating habits may be affecting their sleep, counseling for weight management may be a solution.

What sleeping disorders can be treated? 

People with insomnia can benefit greatly from behavioral sleep medicine. However, they are not the only ones who can use these tactics to improve their symptoms. People who struggle to adjust to CPAP therapy for sleep apnea can also benefit. Also, people with narcolepsy who are trying to gain more control over their sleep/wake cycles can use these techniques.

See a sleep medicine specialist in New Jersey to see if therapy is right for you. For more information about all of our treatments for sleep disorders, call (848) 217-0240.