Treatment and Drugs

Here are some of the treatments and drugs used for insomnia:

Behavioral therapies

Behavioral treatments teach you new sleep behaviors and improve your sleep environment.  This therapy is generally recommended as the first line of treatment for people suffering with insomnia. Behavioral therapies include:

  • Educating the patient about good or proper sleeping habits
  • Relaxation techniques, breathing exercises, and other techniques are simple ways to reduce bedtime anxiety.  This helps to control your heart rate, breathing, muscle tension, and mood.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy involves one on one counseling or group sessions. This involves removing worries with positive thoughts.
  • Stimulus Control is associating your bedroom and bed with sleep and sex.
  • Sleep restriction reduces the time that you spend in bed. This causes little sleep deprivation, which makes you feel tired the next night. And once your sleep improves, your time in bed is also increased.



A doctor may prescribe sleeping pills like zolpidem, eszopiclone, ramelteon, or zaleplon. These drugs can give you good sleep. Doctors don’t recommend these prescription pills for a long time as these can be habit forming.  If you have depression with insomnia then your doctor may prescribe antidepressants that have a sedative effect like doxepin, trazodone, or remeron. However, some of the side effects of sleeping pills ate impaired thinking, agitation, impaired thinking, drowsiness, balancing problems, and night wandering.

Over-the-counter sleep aids


Over the counter sleep aids have some amounts of antihistamines that can make you feel drowsy. They may reduce your quality of sleep and can cause side effects like dry mouth, blurred vision, and daytime sleepiness. These signs can be worst in the elderly.