Insomnia Therapy Online
What is insomnia?
Insomnia is a sleep disorder that disrupts sleep initiation, maintenance, and quality. It’s more than just the occasional night of tossing and turning; it’s an ongoing struggle that can span weeks, months, or even years. Those with insomnia often find themselves trapped in a cycle of fatigue, impaired daytime functioning, and a diminished sense of well-being. Beyond sleeplessness, symptoms encompass daytime fatigue, irritability, poor concentration, and mood disturbances.
Although it can affect anyone, women, older adults, people with a history of mental health disorders, and those facing chronic stress are particularly vulnerable. The demands of modern life, with its constant connectivity and demanding schedules, have also contributed to a rise in insomnia cases.
Stress and anxiety can act as triggers, as well as depression and other mood disorders. Lifestyle choices, such as excessive caffeine consumption, irregular sleep schedules, and lack of physical activity, further exacerbate the condition. Additionally, medical disorders, medication, and certain substances like nicotine and alcohol disturb the balance of the sleep-wake cycle.
Recovery from insomnia is achievable through various avenues. Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) helps restructure negative sleep patterns, promoting healthier habits. Lifestyle changes, stress management, and at times, medication, contribute to a balanced sleep routine.
When to seek help for insomnia?
As with any other psychological issue, insomnia becomes a problem when it negatively affects your daily functioning and overall well-being. Here are some indicators of when to seek help:
- Duration: If you constantly struggle with sleep difficulties for more than a few weeks, it’s a sign to consider seeking help. Temporary sleep disruptions due to stress or changes in routine are normal, but if the problem persists, professional guidance is advisable.
- Daytime impairment: If you experience daytime fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, or mood disturbances that affect your work, relationships, or daily activities, it’s a clear indication that your insomnia is impacting your quality of life.
- Frequency: If you find yourself unable to fall asleep or stay asleep multiple times a week, or if you wake up too early and can’t go back to sleep, it’s a sign that your sleep pattern is consistently disrupted.
- Physical symptoms: Insomnia can manifest physically as well. If you notice headaches, digestive issues, or increased susceptibility to illness due to your disrupted sleep, it’s time to seek help.
- Failed self-management: If you’ve tried various self-help strategies such as maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, avoiding caffeine before bedtime, and creating a comfortable sleep environment, and still haven’t experienced improvement, professional intervention is recommended.
- Impact on mental health: Insomnia can contribute to or exacerbate mental health issues like anxiety and depression. If you notice a decline in your mental well-being alongside sleep problems, seeking help is vital.
- Safety concerns: If your daytime sleepiness poses a risk, such as while driving or operating heavy machinery, seeking help becomes an urgent matter for your safety and the safety of others.
- Quality of life: When your overall quality of life is significantly diminished due to insomnia, whether it’s impacting your relationships, work performance, or general happiness, it’s a strong signal that you need professional assistance.
Therapy for insomnia
Cognitive-behavioural therapy for Insomnia (CBT) is considered one of the most effective therapies for sleep difficulties. CBT focuses on identifying and modifying the thoughts, behaviours, and habits that contribute to insomnia. Here’s an overview of how CBT works:
- Sleep education: This phase helps you understand the science of sleep, the factors influencing sleep quality, and the importance of a consistent sleep schedule.
- Sleep hygiene: This component involves adopting healthy sleep habits, such as maintaining a regular sleep schedule, creating a comfortable sleep environment, avoiding stimulating activities before bed, and managing your exposure to light.
- Sleep restriction therapy: This technique involves adjusting your time in bed to match the actual amount of sleep you’re getting.
- Stimulus control therapy: This technique aims to strengthen the association between your bed and sleep. It involves using the bed only for sleep and intimacy, not for activities like reading or watching TV.
- Cognitive restructuring: This part focuses on identifying and challenging negative thoughts or worries about sleep that contribute to anxiety and make it harder to fall asleep.
- Relaxation techniques: Learning relaxation methods like deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or meditation can help reduce anxiety and promote better sleep.
- Mindfulness and mind-body practices: Mindfulness meditation and yoga can help manage stress and promote relaxation, contributing to improved sleep.
- Lifestyle adjustments: Addressing factors like diet, exercise, and caffeine consumption that can impact your sleep quality.
- Keeping a sleep diary: Tracking your sleep patterns can help identify specific triggers or patterns contributing to your insomnia.
Our approach to insomnia therapy
Our priority is to offer treatments that have been proven empirically successful, including cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and the third-wave therapies, like acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), compassion-focused therapy (CFT) and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT). We believe in the potential of these modalities and its combination to help people struggling with insomnia to restore a restoring sleep.
We personalise these approaches to your particular situation, while we create a compassionate, understanding and safe space for you to explore your difficulties.
Our primary goal is to ensure that each session provides you with tangible benefits. Whether it’s increased self-awareness, the acquisition of new coping tools, a shift in perspective, a modification of behaviour, or a renewed mindset, our aim is for you to leave each session with something practical and valuable.
Here are some common causes of insomnia:
- Stress and anxiety: High levels of stress, worry, and anxiety can make it difficult to relax and fall asleep. Racing thoughts about daily concerns or future events can keep the mind awake, leading to insomnia.
- Depression: Depression can disrupt sleep patterns, leading to both difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. Insomnia and depression often exacerbate each other in a cycle.
- Medical conditions: Various medical conditions, such as chronic pain (e.g., arthritis), respiratory issues (e.g., asthma), gastrointestinal problems, and neurological disorders (e.g., Parkinson’s disease), can contribute to insomnia.
- Medications: Certain medications, such as those for asthma, allergies, high blood pressure, and depression, can have side effects that interfere with sleep.
- Caffeine and stimulants: Consuming caffeine, nicotine, or other stimulants close to bedtime can disrupt sleep by increasing alertness and delaying the onset of sleep.
- Irregular sleep schedule: Frequent changes in sleep patterns, such as shift work or jet lag, can disrupt the body’s natural circadian rhythm, leading to insomnia.
- Poor sleep habits: Behaviours like irregular bedtime routines, using electronic devices before bed, and engaging in stimulating activities close to bedtime can hinder the body’s ability to wind down for sleep.
- Environmental factors: An uncomfortable sleep environment, excessive noise, extreme temperatures, or inadequate bedding can negatively impact sleep quality.
- Eating habits: Overeating or consuming heavy, spicy, or rich meals close to bedtime can cause discomfort and disrupt sleep.
- Age: Insomnia becomes more prevalent as people age, often due to changes in sleep patterns, hormones, and medical conditions.
- Hormonal changes: Hormonal shifts, such as those experienced during menopause, pregnancy, or hormonal disorders, can lead to sleep disturbances.
- Substance abuse: Alcohol and recreational drugs can interfere with sleep patterns and exacerbate insomnia.
- Genetics: Family history may play a role in susceptibility to insomnia and related sleep disorders.
Addressing insomnia often involves identifying and addressing these underlying causes. If insomnia persists and significantly impacts your well-being, consulting a healthcare professional, sleep specialist, or therapist can guide you in uncovering the root causes and developing an appropriate treatment plan. Contact us for further help!
Insomnia is marked by a range of symptoms that extend beyond mere difficulty falling asleep. These symptoms can impact both nighttime sleep and daytime functioning. Here are the key symptoms associated with insomnia:
- Difficulty falling asleep: Individuals with insomnia often struggle to initiate sleep even when they feel tired. They may spend a considerable amount of time in bed trying to fall asleep.
- Difficulty staying asleep: People with insomnia frequently wake up during the night and have trouble returning to sleep. This fragmented sleep can lead to a feeling of restlessness.
- Waking up too early: Insomnia may cause individuals to wake up earlier than desired and find it challenging to go back to sleep, leading to insufficient sleep duration.
- Non-restorative sleep: Even when individuals with insomnia manage to sleep, they often wake up feeling unrefreshed and fatigued, as if they haven’t truly rested.
- Daytime fatigue: Chronic sleep disturbances result in persistent daytime fatigue, which can manifest as low energy, drowsiness, and reduced alertness.
- Impaired concentration and memory: Insomnia can hinder cognitive function, making it difficult to focus, concentrate, and remember information accurately.
- Mood disturbances: Sleep difficulties often lead to irritability, mood swings, and heightened emotional sensitivity. Insomnia can also exacerbate underlying mood disorders like anxiety and depression.
- Decreased performance: Individuals with insomnia may experience reduced productivity at work or school due to the impaired cognitive and physical functioning associated with inadequate sleep.
- Physical symptoms: Headaches, digestive issues, muscle tension, and other physical discomforts can arise from persistent sleep disturbances.
- Increased risk of accidents: Daytime sleepiness and impaired alertness can raise the risk of accidents while driving, operating machinery, or performing other activities that demand attention.
- Heightened stress: The frustration and worry associated with insomnia can contribute to increased stress levels, potentially worsening sleep difficulties in a vicious cycle.
Do you offer insomnia therapy near me?
We offer online insomnia therapy because this way we can reach you out whenever you are in the world. We are trained in the United Kingdom and provide cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), compassion-focused therapy (CFT) and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT).