When you cannot sleep, a cure of insomnia is the first thing you look for.  For most people, that cure of insomnia comes in the form of a sleeping tablet.
However, the question is, are sleeping pills a cure of insomnia? The answer is no, but let us look at why that is.
What Do Sleeping Pills Do?
Sleeping pills, while widely considered a cure of insomnia, have only one real function – they artificially put your brain into the wave state where sleep is most likely to happen.  In short, they ‘fool’ your brain into slowing down, so that you can rest.
As such, they do not treat the underlying cause of the insomnia, which means that while you might think they are a cure of insomnia, if the problem is a long-term one, as soon as you stop taking them, and do not have that artificial sleep state, you will be wide-awake all night.
Interference with Sleep Cycles
Apart from the fact that sleeping pills are a short-term solution, and not a cure of insomnia, because they do not treat the cause of insomnia, there is also evidence to suggest that they interfere with sleep cycles, which can mean you are still tired, even after you sleep.
In order for you to have an effective cure of insomnia, you need to get enough of both REM and non REM sleep – both of which are necessary to ensure that you do not wake up tired.  Some studies have shown that people who are on sleep medication do not get REM sleep, so they wake up feeling tired anyway.
Addiction and Other Problems
Another reason why most sleeping pills are not considered a cure of insomnia is that they are addictive, which means that they can only be used for short periods of time.
Even those medications that are approved for longer-term use are not necessarily a cure of insomnia, as sleeping pills have been linked to other problems, like hallucinations, depression and more.
What Are the Alternatives?
It is becoming more and more clear that sleeping pills are not a cure of insomnia, and that they are only really effective for short-term sleep disorders, with clearly defined causes.  For instance, if you have experienced trauma, and are receiving treatment for that trauma, sleeping pills may work.
The best alternatives to sleeping pills, in terms of a long-term cure of insomnia, is therapy.  Something like cognitive behavioural therapy, or CBT, which addresses the underlying reasons for insomnia, light therapy, which can help when circadian rhythms are the problem, or sleep therapy, when it’s your sleep patterns themselves that are interfering with you finding a cure of insomnia will be a much more effective cure of insomnia.
Finding a cure of insomnia is not as easy as popping a pill.  That is because a cure needs to address the root cause, rather than the symptom.  However, a long-term cure of insomnia is possible, if you are patient, and explore all your options.

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