- Do you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep?
- Do you sleep too much or at the wrong times?
- Do unusual things happen (for example: walking, screaming, fighting or abnormal breathing) when you sleep?
Everyone has occasional difficulties sleeping. Some sleep deprivation is because our lives are over scheduled and simply too busy, or we have forgotten how to quiet our minds sufficiently to let go. Sleep remains a profound mystery, but researchers studying the “architecture” of sleep have discovered that there are distinct phases that correspond to the depth of sleep (when our eyes are not moving around rapidly beneath closed eyelids, NREM sleep) and periods associated with dreaming (sleep with rapid eye movements, REM sleep). Difficulties can arise in any of the stages of sleep and many different conditions can contribute to disturbed sleeping.
You take a long time to fall asleep, tossing and turning while you think about the days events. You wake up many times in the middle of the night or awaken hours earlier than you want to, and feel miserable because you cannot fall back to sleep.
It feels like you never get enough sleep. You are always tired despite getting a full nights sleep. You find yourself falling asleep during the day or evening, even though you are trying to stay awake.
You may have unusual things happen when you sleep. You (or your child) sleepwalk or wake up confused and screaming or fighting and lashing out.
- Each person with sleep problems has unique characteristics and should be thoroughly assessed.
- Many individuals with sleep problems would benefit from connecting with a skilled psychotherapist.
Blog posts on this topic
Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) aims to change thought patterns, for example reducing unrealistic expectations and changing overvalued ideas about sleep. Sleep-related cognitive distortions are replaced with positive attitudes and sleep-conducive behaviour. Consistent, good-quality patient-oriented evidence (Grade A) indicates that CBT … Continue reading →
Most of us have experienced insomnia at one point or another in our lives. We have all experienced the frustration of lying awake in bed for hours waiting for sleep, which then comes too late and is short-lived, leaving us … Continue reading →