OVERCOMING INSOMNIA


Insomnia can be improved though a number of tried and tested methods. I have worked with hundreds of people over the years with sleeping problems and have found there is a common pattern to this disorder. The techniques I use have been very effective at improving peoples sleep and at giving people the tools to stop the insomnia returning.

Your insomnia may have been triggered by stress or sometimes by a specific trauma. This can lead to difficulties getting off to sleep as your mind keeps racing. It may be worrying about 101 things or it could be that the traumatic memory keeps coming up. This can take hours to calm down if at all. Sometimes this can lead to a more specific worry of not being able to get to sleep. The harder you try to sleep the less you do! Other problems that occur are waking through the night, usually in an anxious state. All these symptoms are fixable through the use of CBT techniques.

Insomnia can have a major effect on how we feel and on our ability to function. The amount of sleep we need varies from person to person. In general, adults sleep for anything between five and 10 hours a night. We tend to sleep less as we get older, so how much sleep we need will also depend on our age. The best way to answer this question is to say we need enough sleep to wake up feeling refreshed and able to function efficiently the next day.

It’s quite normal to experience the occasional poor night’s sleep, perhaps through worry or illness. However, if you have insomnia, these symptoms are persistent, and it's unlikely they will go away on their own. The best way to deal with chronic insomnia is through effective treatments combined with changes in your lifestyle.

To have a chat about how therapy may help you please call me

0161 8345888 or EMAIL david@manchestercbt.co.uk

DRUG TREATMENT FOR INSOMNIA

There are two main approaches to treating insomnia: sleeping pills and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Sleeping pills, available from your GP, are safe and can be effective in the short term (up to three to four weeks). Sleeping tablets are useful in treating the symptoms of insomnia in the shorter term, but they are unlikely to cure chronic insomnia. If taken regularly for longer periods, these drugs tend to become less effective and the risk of unwanted side effects when you stop taking them can increase. If you’re given sleeping pills, make sure you only take them as your doctor prescribed.

CBT FOR INSOMNIA

The sessions are usually over four to six appointments, with each appointment lasting about 50 minutes. Your treatment will focus on helping you change both your sleep habits and the kinds of thoughts you may have if you can’t get to sleep. You’ll also be asked to keep a daily record of your sleep (a sleep diary). 

There are no alternative approaches to insomnia that have been proven to be as effective as CBT.

LIFESTYLE

If you have insomnia, there are certain dos and don'ts that can help. This doesn’t mean you’re causing your own sleep problem, but it does mean your sleep may be more vulnerable to disruption from these things.

SLEEP HYGIENE


Sleep hygiene aims to make you more aware of the different factors that may affect sleep.


* 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,
* maintain a comfortable sleeping environment (not too hot, cold, noisy or bright),
* avoid napping during the day,
* avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol within six hours of going to bed,
* avoid exercise within four 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, and
* only use the bedroom for sleep and sex

If you want to discuss help with overcoming your insomnia please contact us - 0161 8345888