Insomnia

What are the Best Remedies for Parasomnias

Parasomnia refers to different sleep related problems. Parasomnias are intense infrequent physical acts that occur during sleep. This article will tell you how this condition can be treated.

Parasomnia is a collection of a total of eight sleep disorders. There are two kinds of parasomnias, viz. NREM (non-rapid eye movement) and REM (rapid eye movement).

Under NREM category, there are five sleep disorders -

  • confusional arousals
  • sleepwalking
  • sleep terrors
  • teeth grinding
  • restless leg syndrome

Under the REM category, there are three disorders-

  • REM sleep behavior disorder
  • recurrent sleep isolated paralysis
  • catathrenia

Depending on the type of parasomnia that the patient is suffering, the treatment would vary so that the patient achieves relief from the symptoms he/she is suffering from.

Parasomnias are usually related to movement during sleep. It can also refer to dreams and perceptions during sleep. Parasomnias occur between the stages of sleep and being awake.

Causes for Parasomnias

  • Medical problems
  • Psychiatric illnesses
  • Stress
  • Medications
  • Alcohol
  • Drugs
  • Depression

Treatment

  • If parasomnia is caused by psychological illness, then counseling with a qualified professional in mental illnesses is in order. This can help you in finding out reasons behind you condition and find better ways to treat the illness.
  • Hypnotherapy and relaxation therapies can be effective in treating parasomnias. Therefore, it is important to find relaxation before going to bed. This will help to reduce the symptoms because parasomnias are mostly caused by stress and psychological issues. Hypnotherapy can help you in reaching a state of relaxation by teaching you ways to clear your mind of troubles and thinking about sleep inducing positive thoughts. One way of doing this is to focus on just one image or word, in order to forget about everything else.
  • Another way of treating this form of insomnia is to avoid chemicals that can aggravate the condition. Smoking is especially prone to causing parasomnia. Caffeine and other stimulants are also in the way of good sleep and, therefore, able to cause symptoms of parasomnia for people who are prone to suffer from the condition.
  • Experiencing scary things, such as watching horror movies, can make you dreams less peaceful and cause nightmares. This is why these should be avoided when going to bed.
Treating Sleepwalking
  • Treating this problem is not easy. It requires a combination of medications, behavioral therapy, counseling and self-help at home. The training at home has to start with training oneself to go to bed at the same time everyday. One should make sure that they are getting the required amount of sleep daily.
  • At the same time, use heavy drapes over your windows and also alarm all the rooms in your home so that the person who is sleepwalking is made to get out of his/her state.
  • If your sleepwalking issue is because of psychological conditions like depression, then you would also need counseling and anti-depressants, as prescribed by the doctor.
Treating Night Terrors
  • This sleep disorder requires a person to get counseled. The counselor tries to address the problem that is actually causing the night terrors. Behavior modification therapy is also known to help. As part of this therapy, one has to develop a sleep schedule. The schedule would include brushing teeth, taking a bath with warm water, drinking warm milk or herbal tea, listening to soothing music etc just before going to bed.
  • Patients suffering from parasomnia sleep disorders falling under the REM category are usually prescribed anti-depressants. For people suffering restless legs syndrome, drugs like pramipexole and levodopa are used. Confusional arousals are dealt with by using the benzodiazepines lorazepam or diazepam. Sleep paralysis sufferers are prescribed opiates such as, methadone or codeine.

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