In the United States, it is estimated that most active, working adults, will experience a form of insomnia at some point in their lives. Impairing our ability to perform general activities of daily living, including being productive at work, treating insomnia has become a multi-million dollar business. As a sufferer of insomnia, it is important to understand a commonly misunderstood aspect of chronic insomnia known as rebound insomnia.
Rebound insomnia is a medical term used to describe the chronic and recurring insomnia that often occurs following medicated treatment of insomnia. For many patients who suffer from insomnia, the initial reaction may be to visit with a healthcare professional in hopes of obtaining a quick and easy method to improve sleep, often using prescription medications including hypnotics or sedatives.
Unfortunately, following the use of prescription sleep aides, many insomnia sufferers will experience rebound insomnia, a worsening of their condition following treatment. Most notably, patients who suddenly discontinue the use of hypnotics or sedatives, following short term therapy, are at a greatest risk. For this reason, when using prescription sleep aides, it is important to discuss, with your healthcare professional, the risks associated with use and discuss the options for titrating or weaning from the use of sleep aides so as to avoid the potential complications associated with rebound insomnia.
So, how does rebound insomnia differ from regular insomnia? Most notably, insomniacs will notice greater complications in the ability to fall asleep, will wake more frequently after treatment than before treatment, and sleep less time. Additionally, your anxiety or tension, after discontinuing treatment with sleep aides, may be more severe when compared to the symptoms before treatment.
If you’ve discontinued the use of sleeping aides, and you are suffering from rebound insomnia, there are some simple home remedies that should become part of your daily practice. Such remedies should include, increased exercise, decreased intake of complex carbohydrates, eliminate the use of alcohol and caffeine and avoid any use of sleeping supplements. Additionally, your healthcare professional may need to refer you to a program of behavioral therapy involving retraining in sleep schedules. Such retraining may include regulating sleep times and wake times and methods in biofeedback.
When these remedies do not improve treatment, your healthcare professional may want to begin a regimen of prescription drugs used to treat the withdrawal symptoms associated with rebound insomnia. Referral to a sleep study center may also be indicated.
With over 42 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders involving insomnia, there is a great need in our society to develop methods to improve health. Beginning with a healthy diet and excercise, many individuals suffering from insomnia will not require the use of sleeping aides. However, when sleeping pills are necessary, discuss the risks, such as rebound insomnia, with your healthcare professional.