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How can sleep disturbance be managed?

Q: I am a 45 years old male suffering from depression for the last one year due to my spouse. I was taking Clonazepam, Zolfresh and Daxid. Now, I have stopped these medicines because I feel that I have no problem at all and the problem is solely because of my wife. I am taking counselling sessions. I do not get proper sleep and hardly sleep for three to four hours. How can my sleep disturbances be treated?

A:Sleep disturbances or Insomnia are often precipitated by a stressors or trauma and may persist even after stressor or trauma have subsided. In such cases treating the sleep disturbances will help, for if not treated, it can affect the quality of life as well as increases risk of future depression and anxiety disorders. In any case, treating sleep disturbances or insomnia involves use of behavioral measures such as good sleep hygiene as well as medications. However, I would recommend that you see a psychiatrist for a comprehensive evaluation prior to being treated with medications and the psychiatrist will also be able to recommend the sleep medications. If sleep medications are prescribed, take them may be 3-4 days in a week rather than every day. In addition to sleep medications, continue to follow good sleep hygiene. Also, attempt other healthy behaviors such as exercise (Aerobic exercises such as running, jogging, etc), decrease/avoid caffeine content).

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