Some people fight a battle every single night over something that comes naturally to everyone else: sleep.
While anyone can face insomnia, seniors in particular often have problems conking out and staying out--sometimes because of all the meds they take-- and too many doctors are too quick to give them yet another med.
But you don't need to take a drug to get the rest you need... just a little one-on- one time with a therapist. Don't run away--you don't need to talk about your mother or weep about your childhood, and you don't need to commit to endless visits.
Talk therapy for sleep is usually focused on trying to change the things that interfere with sleep--like a certain pattern of thought, or a specific behavior that keeps you up.
Once you fix that, it's lights out--and a new study shows it doesn't take much: just two sessions with a counselor and two follow-up phone calls.
Researchers recruited 79 golden-age insomniacs and randomly assigned them to either the sessions and phone calls with a nurse clinician or a packet of materials on how to sleep better.
After four weeks, 67 percent of those who got the counseling were sleeping better and 55 percent no longer had insomnia--versus just 25 percent and 13 percent, respectively, of those who got the info packets.
Overall, researchers say that for every 2.4 patients who try behavioral therapy, one would sleep better and one would be cured, according to the study in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
But you don't have to be a senior to benefit from talk therapy.
Talk therapy--even weekly group sessions--can be far more effective than sleep meds, and that's true at any age.
One study showed that talk therapy slashed the time spent awake in bed by half. In another, patients who got talk therapy slept just as well as patients on meds during the six-week study period.
But after six months, the talk therapy patients--who got an occasional refresher, but were not in therapy the entire time--were sleeping better than the patients on the meds.
By the way, sleeplessness won't just make you tired and cranky... it can also kill you.
I told you a little about the risks last year--along with some of the simple supplements that can help you rest easier. Click here to read it all for free.