Catching Your Forty Winks

Posted on April 20, 2016 in Uncategorized - 0
Stressed woman in office

Kathryn Smith, Clinical Psychologist

We all know how it feels when you’ve not had enough sleep- tired, cranky, irritable, unproductive and overwrought. Even the simplest task can seem overwhelming and this is largely due to the fact that your brain and cognitive function is not operating at optimal levels.

Although bouts of bad sleep are normal and to be expected in our fast paced society, chronic sleep problems and ongoing insomnia (difficulties with sleep for 3 months or more) should not be ignored. According to the National Sleep Foundation, evidence suggests that people with insomnia have a ten-fold risk of developing depression and an increased risk of other co-morbid conditions.

So how do you break this vicious cycle of bad sleep, poor health and its myriad of negative repercussions? Research suggests that the most effective long-term treatment for insomnia is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), a psychology based treatment that addresses behaviour and thinking around sleep. Sleep Specialist, Dr David Cunnington recently conducted research into CBT as treatment for insomnia. His research, as conveyed on his website, Sleep Hub revealed that on average people went to sleep 19 minutes faster and stayed asleep 26 minutes longer after CBT-I.

Clinical Psychologist Kathryn Smith and Psychiatrist Dr Curt Gray have been effectively treating insomnia with CBT through their long-standing group programme, Towards Better Sleep. Unlike sleep medication, CBT is not a quick fix and takes time to work, which is why the programme spans across 6 weeks, focusing on education, behavioural techniques, correcting faulty thinking and relaxation strategies.

A group setting has proven an effective setting to treat people with sleep problems, allowing participants to share their experiences and learn from one another in a more cost effective way.

The next Towards Better Sleep programme commences on 19th May from our Morningside office. For more information or to register your interest in the programme, visit www.towardsbettersleep.com.au or email tbs@psychologyconsultants.com.au

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