Sleep problems, including snoring, sleep apnea, insomnia, sleep deprivation, and restless legs syndrome, are common. Good sleep is necessary for optimal health and can affect hormone levels, mood and weight.
But millions of people don’t get enough, resulting in such problems as daytime sleepiness, poor decision-making, interference with learning and accidents. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, which helps people identify and change their thoughts and behaviors, can help. In fact, according to one study, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) does a better job of reducing insomnia than sleeping pills.
According to leading sleep researchers, there are techniques to combat common sleep problems:
- Keep a regular sleep/wake schedule
- Don’t drink or eat caffeine four to six hours before bed and minimize daytime use
- Don’t smoke, especially near bedtime or if you awake in the night
- Avoid alcohol and heavy meals before sleep
- Get regular exercise
- Minimize noise, light and excessive hot and cold temperatures where you sleep
- Develop a regular bed time and go to bed at the same time each night
- Try and wake up without an alarm clock
- Attempt to go to bed earlier every night for certain period; this will ensure that you’re getting enough sleep
In clinical settings, CBT has a 70-80 percent success rate for helping those who suffer from chronic insomnia. Almost one third of people with insomnia achieve normal sleep and most reduce their symptoms by 50 percent and sleep an extra 45-60 minutes a night. When insomnia exists along with other psychological disorders like depression, say the experts, the initial treatment should address the underlying condition.
If you think you are having difficulty sleeping or have chronic insomnia and would like support to improve sleeping patterns, contact SPS at 401-785-0040 or stop by our office to arrange to meet with one of our trained psychologists for a confidential initial assessment.
No referral is needed to schedule an appointment and SPS accepts most insurance plans and credit cards are accepted.