There is a range of treatments based on the causes and severity of the sleep disorder. In many cases, insomnia can be successfully overcome by practicing “good sleep hygiene.”
Your doctor might suggest a few steps you can take to improve your sleep: going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, making sure your sleep environment is clean and comfortable – dark, quiet and cool, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, and trying relaxation techniques before bed. If these more conservative methods do not help, medications might be an option.
If your sleep (or your partner’s sleep) is disrupted by snoring and your snoring is not related to sleep apnea, your doctor might recommend that you sleep on your side and avoid alcohol, sleeping pills, or other sedatives that can relax tissues in airways and lead to snoring. You may also be encouraged to quit smoking. In addition, treatment for allergies and other sinus problems can help alleviate snoring.
Conservative methods for treating mild sleep apnea include weight loss and avoiding alcohol and sleeping pills. Other options for moderate to severe sleep apnea include surgery, dental bracing to hold the lower jaw forward while sleeping, and CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines, an air mask worn at night that opens airways by increasing pressure in the throat.
Many other treatments are available, depending on the type of sleep disorder. With proper diagnosis, your physician will help determine the best option for you.