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Why Yoga Helps You Sleep

In fear of sounding like a broken record, meditation really does help you sleep better. The problem is, many people don’t know how to meditate and don’t prioritise the time for it.

Enter the ancient art of Yoga. We have all witnessed the clichéd downward dog pose of a bendy lady in her ‘active wear’, but actually this makes true use of the fashion craze. In reality, bendy lady might be getting a better night’s sleep than her discerning onlookers. Here’s why:

Insomnia is complex, as it’s not just a physical disorder; it encompasses our whole being including our emotional and psychological state. That is why worrying during the day about a lack of sleep is counterproductive and will only heighten anxiety levels at night. According to the Medical Journal of Australia, recent surveys reveal that between 13 – 33% of the adult population regularly has difficulty either getting to sleep or staying asleep. But perhaps if more of us jumped on board the self care bandwagon we might find ourselves catching more zzz’s.

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Insomnia and Anxiety: Cause and Effect

It is no secret that stress and anxiety can cause sleeplessness but the cause and effect relationship can sometimes be difficult to diagnose. Having an anxiety disorder can cause insomnia and sleep problems but new research suggests ongoing insomnia can also lead to anxiety disorders.

By definition insomnia describes people who have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or waking prematurely without the ability to fall back asleep. Ongoing sleep dysfunction often leads to a cycle of stress and anxiety during the day about being able to sleep at night and exasperates the problem.

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Trying to forget the unforgettable- musing on PTSD and sleep

By Clinical Psychologist, Kathryn Smith

Lest We Forget will be pledged across the nation this Anzac Day as we approach 100 years since Gallipoli but for many of our veterans and ex-servicemen, forgetting the unforgettable seems a challenge too great.

Trauma regularly touches our community. Watch the evening news and you will witness traumatic events like car accidents, assaults, hold ups, natural disaster, terrorism and war.

Experiencing a traumatic event or the atrocities of war can have a marked impact on people’s lives.  While most people are able to recover from trauma, others go on to develop psychological disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

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Can’t Sleep?

By Clinical Psychologist Kathryn Smith

Everyone likes to have a good night’s sleep, but not everyone sleeps well all the time. John is 43 and divorced from his wife five years ago. He came to Psychology Consultants indicating he had been chronically unable to fall and stay asleep since he divorced his wife.

John reported going to bed early and watching television in bed. He admitted to worrying about his sleep loss during the day and believed that ‘something bad’ would happen to him if his sleep continued in this way.

John’s scenario is common. Insomnia affects one in ten people sometime in their life – often following a significant event.

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Sleep advice

What can I do to get to sleep?
By Dr Stan Steindl 

This is one of the questions we are most frequently asked. Irrespective of a client’s other problems, sleeping difficulties are usually also present, either as a part of their primary condition or as a disorder in its own right.

Sleeping difficulties can have major adverse effects on a person’s life. Such difficulties can lead to psychological distress, impairment in daytime functioning, involvement in fatigue-related error-making or accidents, increased use of sick leave, greater irritability and depression, and prolonged use of minor tranquillisers.

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Towards Better Sleep Programme

Clinical Psychologist, Kathryn Smith and Psychiatrist, Dr Curt Gray have been running the Towards Better Sleep group insomnia programme for over 10 years. The programme runs in a group setting over the course of 6 weeks from Psychology Consultants, Morningside. For more information on the programme, visit the Towards Better Sleep page.


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