Insomnia and Therapy

Insomnia is the most common psychological health problem – it has been estimated that 15-30% of the adult population suffers from insomnia, with twice as many women as men suffering. Insomnia becomes more common as we get older, but it affects a range of ages. Most of us experience problems with sleep at some point in our lives, generally when under stress, but you should consider seeking help for what we call chronic insomnia. This is when your problems with sleep have lasted for more than one month or if you cannot get a good night’s sleep without sleeping pills.

Insomnia is often associated with other psychological disorders such as depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. People may underplay the importance of insomnia by regarding it as just a symptoms of another issue, when in fact it may require treatment in its own right.

Common Factors

  • Restless legs or twitching legs during sleep
  • Pain
  • Side effects of medications
  • Alcohol – leads to more fitful, less refreshing sleep
  • Caffeine and nicotine
  • Severe anxiety or depression
  • Stressful life events
  • Habits such as daytime napping
  • Dependence on sleeping medication

Impact of Insomnia

Although insomnia is common, it is certainly not a minor issue. Ongoing sleep problems can impact on your functioning during the daytime as well as night. People who do not sleep well may experience:

  • Low mood or easily irritable
  • Poor memory & concentration
  • Trouble staying alert
  • Worry about not sleeping
  • Poor work performance
  • Conflict in relationships
  • Less quality of life

If you are experiencing some of these consequences of poor sleep, then you may need to seek help.

There are many medications which are used to treat insomnia, yet these are usually only effective in the short-term. For long-term management of sleep problems, you may need to consider strategies such as sleep hygiene, cognitive therapy, and reducing your stress levels. Let us help you.