We all need sleep in order for our bodies and minds to recharge and renew. With a regular sleeping pattern and a good chunk of undisturbed slumber, we can perform better, cope with challenges more effectively, maintain a positive mood and even look younger.
After a few sleepless nights, we can start to notice the difference in our ability to concentrate. We might become more irritable and less create and adaptable. We look and feel tired, energy levels dip and we become more prone to ill health.
For new parents, a run of sleepless nights is simply part of the process. It might seem like forever before their baby settles into a routine, but the reason why you are missing out on a full night’s kip is obvious and usually short term.
Reasons Behind a Lack of Sleep
There may be other reasons why we’re not sleeping and these can be more difficult to identify.
Unfortunately, it is only when the root cause is diagnosed the effective action to encourage sleep can be taken. People can be driven to take sleeping tablets or even drink until they pass out in order to avoid another wakeful night, but these a temporary means of masking the problem, rather than a life transforming solution.
A lack of sleep is a common symptom of anxiety, stress, ill health, hormonal changes or a guilty conscious. Equally it can result from excessive use of technology, a lack of exercise, an uncomfortable bed or external factors such as noisy neighbours or a partner who snores.
There is a wealth of techniques that can help people to sleep; these include lifestyle changes, establishing a relaxing and technology free pre-bed routine, adopting controlled breathing techniques and even changes to the bedding you use. If you’ve been trying these and still find yourself lying awake as the minutes tick by, you may benefit from counselling.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a type of counselling that focuses on the relationship between what we think and what we do. By exploring and challenging our thought processes, it has been effective in changing negative behaviours. Such negative behaviours might include fears and habits.
Fears and habits are often things that we consider to be part of our personality; we might say ‘I’ve always been afraid of heights’ or ‘I’ve never been a good sleeper’. We see them as something we’ve always had and therefore can’t change, but this is a misconception. In reality we have learnt this way of thinking; we have accepted it as part of ‘who we are’ but we can change the script.
So if you can’t face another sleepless night, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can help to identify the underlying problem. It can help you to explore the right course of action for dealing with that issue and support you through that process. At the same time, it can alter the thought process that has led you to expect not to sleep. Together this is a comprehensive measure that could transform your nights without a reliance on medication.
If you would like to learn more about Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Amersham based Cognisant PDC is happy to explain what’s involved and whether is suitable for your requirements. You can find out more about Cognisant PDC here.