Habitual sleepless nights are a clear signal that something in your life needs to change. The question is, what? With so many possible causes, beating insomnia can sometimes seem confusing. Fortunately, it only seems that way. Let's simplify things. There are three basic ways to combat sleeplessness: medical aids, natural solutions or psychological relief. No matter how many different treatments you may find, they can usually be classified into one of these three categories.

When should you look for medical aid? Obviously, if you think your sleepless nights are connected to a medical condition, you should see your doctor. Keep in mind that many health professionals have been trained to prescribe sleeping pills. This type of treatment is not always appropriate. Prescription sleep aids may not accomplish your sleep goals, even for the short term. Using sleeping pills for a long period of time could end up worsening your condition.

Natural solutions for insomnia are very safe. They are also more effective than you might think. Unless there is a specific medical condition (like back pain, for example) keeping you awake, natural treatments are preferred for relieving insomnia. Natural solutions include herbal remedies, changes in daily habits and schedules, aromatherapy and acupuncture.

Mental factors like anxiety, stress and depression are among the top causes of insomnia. Getting psychological help is an excellent way to reduce your number of sleepless nights. Psychological help for sleeplessness is much more than telling stories of childhood from a therapist's couch. Other treatments that fall into this category include relaxation techniques, meditation exercises and hypnosis.

The real challenge of sleepless nights is finding out the cause. Insomnia is a symptom, not a disease. So knowing that you have insomnia is just the first step. Your next task is discovering the cause. Once you understand the cause, treatment is usually pretty simple. Just remember that success means more than just sleeping at night. Your goal should include feeling better during the day as well.

There is no good reason to delay seeking help for sleepless, restless nights. The stakes are too high. The consequences of sleep deprivation are too dangerous. Determine the cause, which will lead you toward certain types of treatments. Then start trying out different treatments to figure out which one works best for you.

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