How Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Could Cure Your Insomnia
Having a good night of sleep—not just now and again, but every night—is essential for your well-being. When you wake up after eight hours of solid sleep, you will feel prepared for the day ahead. You will feel energised, you will be happier, and you will be more productive and creative. But when insomnia strikes, it can be difficult to know what to do to get your sleeping patterns back in any kind of order. You might be tempted to reach for the sleeping pills, but this is a bad idea. Instead of actually fixing your relationship with sleep, resorting so sleeping pills or medicines will just make you reliant on a substance and more anxious about sleep in the long term.
Instead, it can be a great idea to look up sleep counselling services that specialise in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for insomniacs. Through working with your counsellor, you will actually form a better relationship with sleep, which will require you to take no medicines whatsoever. Here's what you can expect from sessions with a sleep counsellor:
Relaxation training. 21st century life is simply really hectic. The reason why you may not be able to get enough shut-eye in the night time is simply because you have too much going on in your head and you don't have the tools that will enable you to relax. Your counsellor will be able to teach you relaxation techniques such as mindful breathing meditation and calming visualisations so that you can detach from the hustle and bustle of daily life and get some solid sleep at night.
Sleep hygiene. There are certain factors in your lives that contribute to how well you can or cannot sleep. Smoking and drinking, irregular meal times, taking naps in the day, and having an irregular schedule for going to bed and waking up can all play a part in how successful your night of sleep is. The secret is to take the toxic forces out of your sleep life and encourage better behaviours. In order to do this, your sleep counsellor might well ask you to keep a week's diary detailing all of these factors. From this, they will be able to advise you as to what to cut out and how you can improve your sleep hygiene.
Biofeedback. Biofeedback is the process of more finely attuning your body and mind so that they work in harmony together. By doing this, you can make sure that they are relaxed for a good night of rest. For example, it can be really good to actually notice if your muscles tense up or if your heart starts racing before you go to bed. Once you notice this, your therapist can give you the tools you need to make your body more relaxed. There are certain exercises you can do, such as tensing muscles and then releasing them, which promote muscle relaxation. Deep breathing techniques can also help to reduce a manic heart rate.
Sleep restriction. It may seem counter-intuitive but one Cognitive Behavioural Therapy practice that has been successful for many insomniacs has been that of actually restricting sleep hours. This is because many patients have so much anxiety around the idea of sleeping for eight hours that it can be a good idea to start with small building blocks and smaller amounts of sleep. Your sleep therapist will allot you a certain window for sleeping each night, starting with a small amount, but increasing this as your relationship with sleep improves so that you can eventually manage a healthy eight hours each and every night.
For more information, contact a specialist like Riviera Counselling Service.