Problems with sleep

 

Insomnia

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