Problems with sleep



Sleep difficulties are really common. Despite the fact that we will all suffer from a sleepless night once in a while, it's likely that as many as one in three of us is struggling with some element of our sleep at any one time.

Whilst we might be able to deal with a bit of trouble nodding off once in a blue moon, any more prolonged sleep disruption can be much harder to shake off. This is often particularly the case when it impacts significantly upon our mood and day-to-day activities, work and our social lives. Longer-term difficulty falling or staying asleep - that's also having an affect on your ability to get by during the day - is known as insomnia. It is surprisingly common and estimates suggest that as many as one in ten of us would probably meet diagnostic criteria. 

It can often start as little more than an acute period of sleeplessness brought on by some stressful life circumstances. However, before long we may naturally start to become anxious about not sleeping and will probably change our routine to try to better manage the situation. One common example of this is people going to bed unusually early to try and 'catch up' on their sleep, only to find themselves lying awake for hours and feeling even more despondent. Ironically these adaptations to our behaviour can sometimes mean that our sleeplessness doesn't resolve itself, leaving us exhausted, depleted and stuck.

The good news is that there's help at hand. At Sleep Well Oxford, we use Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I), an evidence-based approach designed specifically for treating sleep problems and that is recommended as the first-line treatment in international clinical guidelines. Read more about it here






Behavioural Sleep Medicine


Although insomnia is probably the most common sleep problem that people experience, it's not the only sleep problem out there. In fact, when people are struggling with another sleep disorder, such as Circadian Rhythm Disorders or Restless Legs Syndrome, insomnia may also be part of the picture. 

Whilst treatment for these other sleep disorders often tends to be with medication, there is a growing evidence-base for the usefulness of what is known as Behavioural Sleep Medicine (BSM) approaches to their management and treatment too. 

If you're unsure of whether we can help here, drop us an email and we'll give you an honest answer. 





Training for you and your team


Behavioural Sleep Medicine is an area of increasing interest among health professionals, not least because of the degree to which sleep has been shown to impact upon a number of other physical and mental health problems.

Training in Behavioural Sleep Medicine, particularly Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) can take lots of different forms depending on the audience. Why not get in touch to see if we can help design the kind of training that you and your team are looking for. 


When Sleep is Not the Issue


People with sleep difficulties will very often find that their problems with sleep spill out into other areas of their life and emotional wellbeing.

We consider working on this very much part of the work that we do.

It is also very common for insomnia and mental health difficulties to exist alongside one another. In these cases, clinical guidance suggests that insomnia should be treated in it’s own right, rather than simply as a symptom of whatever else is going on. In cases like this, we will take time to plan the treatment and tailor it to your specific needs.

However, when sleep isn’t an issue and if you or a loved one is experiencing mental health difficulties outside the realm of sleep medicine, we are delighted to be able to recommend our colleagues at Psychology Oxford. Dr Patrick Kennedy-Williams and his team specialise in the psychological treatment of anxiety and depression as well as other mental health difficulties. They see both children and their families, as well as adults and are located in the heart of Oxford.