Insomnia is said to be present when you regularly find it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep.
It has several patterns. You may have trouble getting to sleep initially. Or even if you can fall asleep, you might not be able to stay asleep for as long as you would like. Also you may wake up during the night and not be able to go back to sleep for a long time.
Without treatment insomnia can lead to serious health problems including anxiety, depression and impairment in daytime functioning, involvement in fatigue-related error-making or accidents, increased use of sick leave, greater irritability and depression, and prolonged use of minor tranquillisers.
If you are finding ongoing sleeplessness is affecting your health and wellbeing, talking to a Clinical Psychologist can be helpful in developing practical long-term strategies to manage insomnia. The use of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to treat insomnia has proven effective in that it takes a holistic approach looking at social, emotional and environmental aspects of a person’s life to unfold what is causing the sleep problem.
Tips for a better night’s sleep
- Go to bed at the same time every night and spend no more than 8 hours in bed.
- Keep your bedtime routine technology and screen free as the blue/green light may affect sleep.
- Avoid caffeine after 2pm
- Although a wine can be relaxing,too much alcohol can inhibit good quality sleep.
- Avoid the urge to eat chocolate or sugary treats close to bed time.
- Reduce fluid intake within a few hours of bed to avoid getting up to use the bathroom (this includes alcohol that will only inhibit sleep).
- Keep up the exercise regime but not within 3 hours of bedtime.
- Think about what makes you feel most relaxed and create a night time relaxation routine.
- If you can’t sleep,get out of bed, do something that is non-stimulating and return to be 30 minutes later.