Problems With Sleep

Many people experience problems with getting good quality sleep from time to time. It’s usually not something to worry about if it only lasts a short period of time and doesn’t frequently recur. However, prolonged sleep problems can impact on other areas of our lives and result in other health and mental health issues. For this reason it’s a good idea to seek some help. It’s no secret that our busy lifestyles can often interfere with sleep quality as can periods of high stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. Addressing these other issues can help to improve sleep quality in many people. For others, treatment focussing on the sleep problem itself might be necessary.

What is insomnia?

Insomnia is a sleep disorder that is a common problem within the general population and can be described as having difficulty falling and staying asleep and waking up too early. It can be short- or long-term, lasting from one night to a few weeks, months or years, can come and go, and can significantly impair everyday functioning.

Common Symptoms

The most common symptoms of insomnia include:

  • Difficulty falling and staying asleep
  • Waking up during the night or too early
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling irritated, depressed, or anxious
  • Difficulty with concentration and memory
  • Tension headaches or digestive problems

Self-Management, Tips, and Strategies

  • Keep your bed for sleep or sexual activity only
  • Ensure your bedroom is dark when attempting to sleep
  • Allow for optimal room temperature – not too warm or too cool
  • Avoid electronic devices prior to going to bed
  • Avoid caffeinated foods or beverages in the afternoon or evening
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking
  • Partake in regular exercise during the day, and not immediately before bed
  • Have a bedtime routine
  • Try to avoid worrying about your lack of sleep as this will only cause more tension
  • Attempt to accomplish important tasks during the day rather than the evening
  • Practice relaxation and mindfulness techniques prior to going to bed

When can a psychologist help?

It’s a good idea to check in with your doctor to rule out or treat other health issues if there are any. A psychologist can help identify other factors contributing to the sleep problems and work out the best treatment approach. For example, they can help you work out ways to reduce stress and anxiety and find strategies to deal with worries amongst other things. Learning relaxation and mindfulness techniques is also something a psychologist can help you with. Our team is happy to work with you to find the best way to improve your sleep. You can book online using our Book an Appointment button, give us a call on (02) 4625 3339, or email us at admin@innerspacepsych.com.au.

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