Having trouble getting to sleep?

‘’Living with poor sleep and its consequences is not only very common, but it is in all likelihood degrading Britain's health’’ Professor Colin Espie of Glasgow University

Sleep is an essential aspect of our physical and mental functioning. It allows our body and mind to rest, recharge and process the events of our busy lives. When sleep becomes a problem we realise just how important it is to our mental and physical well being.  If a regular occurrence and interfering with your daily life, you may be suffering from a sleep problem.

Sleep problems can disturb both your ability to sleep at night, but also a your ability function during the day. A person with a sleep problem may have difficulty falling asleep or difficulty staying asleep, may wake early in the morning and / or may have poor quality sleep.

Symptoms can include:

• Difficulty falling asleep

• Waking up during the night, along with trouble falling back to sleep

• Non-restorative sleep

• Fatigue or low energy

• Cognitive impairment including poor concentration

• Mood problems

• Interpersonal relationship problems

• Difficulty at work or school

• Behavioural issues

Sleep problems are commonly experienced alongside other problems of anxiety, depression and pain.

The negative cycle of sleep problems. Frequently having trouble sleeping can be a frustrating and debilitating experience. People with sleep problems describe negative and frustrating cycles of sleeping badly at night which leave you feeling tired in the morning.  Any energy you have quickly disappears throughout the day and no matter how exhausted you feel at night, you still have trouble sleeping. And so the cycle begins again. 

Impact of a sleep disorders. Sleep problems can cause a you to wake up feeling exhausted, or leave you feeling sleepy during the day. If left unaddressed, prolonged problems with sleep can have a very negative impact on your mental and physical health.  These can lead to memory problems, weight gain, impaired job performance, reduced immune system functioning, reduced energy levels and lowered mood.  They can also leave you feeling less resilient to manage daily stressors. 

My Therapist Online can help you

If you are suffering from one of the problems listed above, then you may benefit from speaking to one of our therapists. There is good evidence that cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a very effective treatment for insomnia.  Many of our therapists are extremely experienced in the treatment of sleep problems, both as an individual problem and when combined with other issues such as anxiety and depression. 

Recommended Reading

Overcoming Insomnia and Sleep Problems: A Self Help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioural Techniques. By Colin Espie (2006).