Helping you to manage insomnia
Insomnia Treatment – Sleep problems are surprisingly common, whilst they are not life-threatening, sleep disorders may be very distressing, exhausting, depressing and deeply frustrating.
This page and my insomnia treatment / therapy are aimed at those people who are experiencing prolonged periods of disrupted sleep caused by worries, stress, feeling stuck and the effects of excessive rumination (a racing mind). To me insomnia or poor sleep is a symptom, not necessarily a problem; the problem is often elsewhere in your life.
Before I go into more detail it is important that I set realistic expectations of what outcomes are possible. Generally speaking, when it comes to the amount of sleep required, there are two main personality types, one of which benefits from insomnia treatment and the other rarely needs it!
Larks – who go to bed early and rise early
Larks usually sleep very well and have done so most of their life. They enjoy going to bed at a reasonable time in the evening and find it easy to awaken early and rise from bed in the morning. Typically, they have no difficulty falling asleep and enjoy 6 – 8 hours sleep per night. If they awaken during the night, generally they easily get back to sleep.
When Larks experience disrupted sleep patterns or insomnia it is usually externally driven by events or worries in their life and these play on their mind. Once these have been unconsciously resolved the old sleep patterns are usually restored quite quickly.
Owls – who go to bed late and (would like to) rise late
Owls usually have more difficulty falling asleep, and as such, have always had a bit of a love / hate relationship with sleep. They can tolerate a lack of sleep more effectively than Larks and often feel that going to bed is a chore rather than an experience to be relished and enjoyed like the Larks do. If they awaken during the night it can be hard for them to get back to sleep again.
External worries, anxieties about work / families / relationships – all compound to further disrupt an already less than perfect relationship with sleep. They know they are not getting enough sleep yet feel there is nothing they can do (but there is).
If you feel that this profile fits your experience – then, after working with me, you can expect to get back to a more normal (for you) sleep routine and will have an improved relationship with sleep, however, you will never be able to sleep like the Larks do, let’s just be honest about this.
Help to get a good nights sleep
Feeling anxious, depressive feelings and stress do interrupt sleep patterns in quite dramatic ways, they cause you to worry and spin thoughts around in your mind, this leads to more dreaming than normal (REM Sleep – Rapid Eye Movement Sleep) and less of the Slow Wave body repair sleep, culminating in less quality sleep and more use of energy through excessive dreaming. Assuming that your insomnia is not caused by an underlying medical condition, I use a range of psychological insomnia cures that work closely with your unconscious mind to enable you to work through the events in your life that are (consciously or unconsciously) causing your mind to be too alert and active at times when you would like it to be deeply asleep.
Continued exposure to stress or emotional trauma in a person’s life places an unnecessary burden on the unconscious nervous system (parasympathetic nervous system) the continuous agitation of this sensitive structure leads to an increase in a whole range of chemicals that keep you in a more alert state of mind.
So, to get your body chemistry back under control, we need to address the events of your life and the strategies (conscious and unconscious) that your mind has developed to handle them. Some people stick their heads in the ground and hope things will just get better, other people try to change the people who are causing the problems, some feel like victims and some just don’t know what to do
We humans develop many coping strategies for the challenges we face and because they are typically unconscious strategies they seem to be underdeveloped and not at all optimal, often, we can see that we seem to be ‘cutting our nose off to spite our face’ when these strategies are analysed.
As part of the whole process I work with you to get a better understanding of ‘who you really are’ and we tease out a better understanding of ‘who you want to be’ and ‘what you want to do.’ It’s like a software upgrade for your unconscious mind that allows you to run new thought patterns, to illicit new emotional responses and these lead to a wonderful improvement not only in the quality of your sleep, but also, in your life.
“Firstly, I’d just like to say thanks very much for last nights insomnia treatment session. I found it so interesting from an poor sleepers perspective as well as a psychologist’s perspective and I really like your positive approach to it all. It’s really opened my mind up to a completely new set of concepts. I also thought I’d let you know I managed to get 8 hours lovely sleep last night without waking once.”
Common causes of insomnia and disrupted sleep
- Life problems
- Fear, stress, anxiety, depression, emotional upheaval
- Financial concerns, unhappy working environment
- Loneliness, unsatisfactory relationships
- Raising young families
- Drinking alcohol and use of stimulants like nicotine or recreational drugs.
- Environmental factors such as noise, light, temperature (I can’t help with these)
- Effects of medication (I can’t help with this)
- Snoring or restless partner (I can’t help with this – sleep in another room, it’s OK)
General information about sleep
None really knows why we sleep, although it is thought to rest and repair the body. When you can’t sleep the body’s immune system is weakened and this effects the way we think, so for emotional wellbeing, good sleep is essential.
Your attitude to sleep can also play an important role in alleviating sleep insomnia; if you are saying in your mind “I can’t sleep” – it can be hard to look forward to going to bed. So, just like healthy eating and fitness, sleep help should be embraced and taken seriously as a wonderful part of your life and essential to your wellness.
Generally speaking, we sleep in 5 roughly 90 minute long cycles, from a light slumber, down to deep sleep and back and interestingly, many people who feel that they get no sleep or have been ‘awake all night’ or think they can’t sleep, have slept through one of these cycles without realising it – check it out yourself, if you are having a bad night, just look at the clock from time to time and you might be quite surprised that it is about 90 minutes later than the last time you looked.
3 in every 10 people experiencing lack of sleep have an obvious underlying cause; these are often things like pre-sleep activities, changed sleep patterns or environmental conditions such as noise. 5 in 10 people experience sleep problems due to psychological problems such as depression, stress, grief and dementia. 1 in 10 are affected by physical or medical issues, such as, arthritis, diabetes and pain. 1 in 10 are affected by misuse of medicines, alcohol or illegal drugs.
Interestingly, if you were to ask individuals who sleep easily and don’t require insomnia treatment, what thoughts go through their minds just before they nod off, they typically say nothing at all, ask the same of someone who has difficulty sleeping and they say absolutely everything!
Insomnia cures – tips for better sleep
- Stop drinking caffeine by early afternoon – Tea, coffee, energy and fizzy drinks.
- Don’t take any naps during the day.
- Try not to eat big meals prior to sleeping.
- Take some time to relax before bed, take a bath or listen to some calming music.
- Meditation and yoga relax you and will help getting to sleep sooner.
- Taking exercise during the day.
- Don’t watch TV directly before sleeping or in your bedroom.
- Don’t smoke before you go to bed as nicotine is a stimulant.
- Drink alcohol in moderation.
More things you can to for insomnia treatment, is to, write down things the issues that may be worrying you and make an agreement with yourself to think about them in more detail the following day.
Insomnia treatment for Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire & Northamptonshire
I will focus on your problem and will do all I can to get your sleep back under control in the shortest time and with empathy, integrity and professional knowledge. You can read about my guarantees, fees and FAQ’s about my therapy. Please have a look around the site and get a feel for how I work, perhaps read some of my client testimonials and when you are ready give me a call we can informally talk about what is possible.