Sleeping Pill Alternatives

It may sound surprising, but sleeping pills are not the best way to treat insomnia. The drugs clearly help people with short-term trouble getting to sleep. But for most insomnia sufferers, they are not the answer.

"It is pretty miserable not to be able to sleep," Collop says.

Bruno says that even when he prescribes hypnotic sleeping pills, he educates patients on proper sleep hygiene.

"This means basic education about the importance of a regular bedtime, a regular time to wake, avoiding naps, avoiding extreme physical exercise in the evening, and saving the bedroom for sleep," he says.

Kripke and all of the other experts agree that a form of short-term psychotherapy -- cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT -- is surprisingly effective for people with chronic insomnia.

Collop says it's time to see a sleep specialist if you have tried sleeping pills and they don't work any more. Looking for another brand of sleeping pill will not work.


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