Some of the most common sleeping problems are snoring, insomnia, parasomnia, nighttime fidgeting, and narcolepsy.
The current material is focused on insomnia because psychotherapy can significantly help to treat this specific sleeping disorder. Insomnia is conceptualized as difficulties falling asleep, and restless interrupted sleep. Most people experience temporary and short-term sleeping problems. This kind of short-term insomnia is one of the ways to respond to challenging life events.
Insomnia can easily reappear and last for longer periods of life. It can start exhausting the person and disturb everyday life. Sleeplessness can significantly affect the person who suffers from it- he or she may not have the energy for socializing with friends, hobbies, or other activities.
Insomnia can be caused by a serious physical illness, psychological disorder, drug consumption, and other primary sleeping problems (e.g. sleep apnoea). Approximately 1-2% of the general population suffers from primary insomnia, which means that it’s not related to the above-mentioned illnesses and disorders.
Primary insomnia wasn’t considered serious in the past, but nowadays it has received more attention because sleeplessness is an important risk factor of developing depression or anxiety disorder. Insomnia often leads to a reduction in productivity, work accidents, and bigger consumption of alcohol.
Primary insomnia can be caused by stress, irregular sleep schedule (e.g. working in shifts), or a lifestyle that includes poor eating and physical activity habits.
Go to sleep and wake up at the same time– also on the weekends, even if you are tired. A stable rhythm helps to improve sleep. If you don’t fall asleep within 10-20 minutes then leave the bed and do something calming and relaxing such as reading a magazine, meditating, etc.
Try to create a “going to bed routine”– for example reading a book, a warm bath or shower, meditating before going to sleep. Avoid screens at least for an hour before going to sleep, because mobile phones and computers reflect blue light which may hinder producing the necessary chemicals in the brain.
Sleep and bed
Use the bed only for sleeping or sexual activities. It’s important to have a behavioral connection between the bed and sleeping.
Avoid beverages that contain caffeine. Try to regulate the quantity of caffeine and avoid stimulating drinks in the evening.
Pay attention to the thoughts, that are related to sleeplessness. Sometimes you may be afraid of the performance of the activities on the following day. People manage to complete most of the tasks also while being tired. Try to be compassionate with yourself and give yourself credit for everything you managed to do.