(04-03-2014, 01:23 PM)space45 Wrote: I can almost predict a bad night as they are mostly when I am all geared up about something I am working on, maybe I should try some sort of sleeping pill or something.I'd suggest cognitive bevahior therapy for insomnia first. I think it's likely to be a better long term solution than sleeping pills. For starters, I'd suggest picking up a copy of a book called Sound Sleep, Sound Mind and working your way through it. It was written by Dr. Barry Krakow, who is a sleep specialist. His book includes discussions about what good sleep actually looks and feels like; how insomnia and other sleep disorders play havoc on our bodies; behavior patterns common in insomniacs and how those behavior patterns encourage the insomnia; and multiple strategies for changing the insomnia behavior patterns so that you can get a more restful night's sleep.
That said, there is a role for sleeping pills. And taking them under a doctor's direction and as needed on nights that are likely to be bad can be part of a good CBT-I program.
Sleeping pills by themselves, however, may not help as much as you would hope: All the standard prescription sleeping meds are reasonably effective at helping you get to sleep at the beginning of the night, but they're not all that effective at preventing an excess number of wakes after sleep onset, nor are they particularly effective at helping you get back to sleep after a middle of the night wake.
Most of the OTC stuff either just makes you a bit drowsy so it may help with problems at the beginning of the night, but won't do anything to really fix the middle of the night problems. Melatonin (OTC) is an exception. But melatonin usually doesn't help you get to sleep any faster. What it can do is encourage you to get sleepy at a more predictable time and it can also make it easier to notice the fact that you are feeling sleepy. With melatonin, less really is more: Start off with as small of a dose as you can find. And you may also find that it is a bit more effective if you take it several hours before your normal bedtime. And with melatonin, it is very important to have both a regular bedtime and wake up time.