How can Sleep Disorders be Treated?
The principles of therapy are:
- Hypnotics are sedatives which are given when there is difficulty in falling or maintaining sleep for example insomnia.
- REM sleep suppressants and anticataleptic agents are given for narcolepsy.
- Stimulant medications are given for those disorders in which there is excessive daytime sleepiness such as in hypersomnias and narcolepsy.
- Dopamine agonists are given for disorders such as restless leg syndrome and periodic leg movement disorder.
- CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) forms the mode of therapy for obstructive sleep apnea.
- Behavioral therapy helps to establish permanent healthy sleeping patterns and hence forms the backbone in treating insomnias. Age related sleeping patterns can be modified with this therapy.
- Disturbed sleep patterns due to hormonal imbalances are stabilized with hormonal and behavioral therapy. So, an exact diagnosis helps to initiate the appropriate therapy.
A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book. ~Irish Proverb
- Coren, Stanley. Sleep Thieves: An Eye-Opening Exploration into the Science and Mysteries of Sleep. New York: The Free Press; 1996, p. 287.
- Sleep Disorders - (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/sleepdisorders.html)