There is no quick cure for insomnia and it will often take you several attempts and several solutions, before you find one that works for you.

Treating Insomnia can be very difficult and there are various methods of treatment. From experience I can say that what works for one does not work for all. Presenting to your GP with insomnia may have differing outcomes depending on the doctor. I have experience of doctors who go straight to medication and those who go to medication as a last resort. I have looked into sleep in quite a lot of detail and all I can advise is to systematically try the following things for yourself.

Good Sleep Hygiene aims to make people more aware of behavioural, environmental, and temporal factors that may be detrimental or beneficial to sleep. You should aim to have good sleep hygiene and to do you should establish fixed times for going to bed and waking up (and avoid sleeping in after a poor night’s sleep). Try to relax before going to bed, there are various methods of doing so and this can be very personal to you. Some people relax by reading which can be a good idea but avoid playing computer games or watching something fast paced on television. Maintain a comfortable sleeping environment, not too hot, cold, noisy, or bright and to do this you may have to invest in things like blackout blinds or curtains. Make sure your bed is as comfortable as possible, consider investing in a memory foam medical mattress. Make sure that you have comfortable bedding and duvets are not too warm and not too cold.
Avoid napping during the day. Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol within 6 hours of going to bed and consider complete elimination of caffeine from the diet. Avoid exercise within 4 hours of bedtime (although exercise earlier in the day is beneficial). Avoid eating a heavy meal late at night. Avoid watching or checking the clock throughout the night as this just increases frustration, it is often better to do something relaxing than laying in bed staring at the clock. Try to use the bedroom only for sleep if you can, I appreciate that some people with more severe Fibromyalgia like myself are restricted to the bedroom all the time.

Consider talking to your doctor about cognitive and behavioural interventions. These are relatively new treatments under the Nhs in the UK and services differ depending on where you live. Your GP may have information on private clinics and will probably be happy to make a referral if you think they may be of benefit. There are different types of therapy available and I will quickly touch on the main ones so you know a little about them prior to discussing them with your doctor. Stimulus-control therapy aims to help the person to re-associate the bed and bedroom with sleep, and to re-establish a consistent sleep/wake pattern. Sleep restriction therapy involves limiting the amount of time spent in bed to the actual amount of time spent asleep, creating a mild sleep deprivation, and then increasing sleep time as the efficiency of sleep improves. Relaxation training aims at reducing tension (for example using progressive muscle relaxation) or minimizing intrusive thoughts that may interfere with sleep. Paradoxical intention involves staying passively awake, avoiding any intention to fall asleep. Its use is limited to people who have trouble getting to sleep (but not maintaining sleep). Biofeedback provides visual or auditory feedback to help the person control certain physiologic parameters (such as muscle tension). Cognitive therapy aims to examine and change the person’s beliefs and attitudes about insomnia. It is frequently used in combination with a behavioural intervention (such as stimulus control, sleep restriction, or relaxation training); this is cognitive behavioural therapy.