What role does my mind play in my sleep problem?
Many sleep problems have a significant psychological dimension. For example, disturbed sleep is often linked to being in a state of hyper-arousal. Hyper-arousal can be caused by anxiety, depression, stress and even excitement. In Great Britain, we are very good at being switched on but not always so good at being switched off.
Many people who seek assistance from their GP for sleep problems such as Insomnia and sleep anxiety will be referred to a counsellor. This is especially helpful if the client feels the need to share personal problems that they believe may be interfering with their sleep. It may also be beneficial to discuss the unpleasant feelings associated with disturbed with sleep.
In many cases, however, further psychological intervention will be required. What is important to understand however is that often, moving towards better sleep will take time, patience and work on your behalf. There are unfortunately no quick fixes. Having support and guidance as you move towards improved sleep will make a significant difference.
We provide tailored sleep psychology services designed to help the individual to feel more relaxed about sleep and to behave and think like a good sleeper (often, if you are struggling to sleep you may start to learn negative thinking and behavioural patterns which, over time can become habit). We can help you to break these habits and replace them with positive ones by integrating talking therapies and sleep coaching, enabling you to move forward and live a fuller, healthier life.
In SleepWales, we advocate gentle, sustainable change and go to all efforts to ensure that your session with Amy McClelland is relaxing and reassuring
Frequently, you will be recommended resources such as audios and books. We feel that teaching clients the skills to help themselves engenders permanent, sustainable change.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia.
CBTi helps replace negative sleep thoughts with more positive, rational thoughts. The behavioural element of the therapy involves the re-learning of behaviours of a good sleeper such as for example using bed for sleep and intimacy only (avoidance of watching TV and using a Smartphone whilst in bed).
If you are looking to come for sleep improvement support, it is likely that you will already have tried a few techniques, read advice on Google. You may even have been to see a few health care practitioners to get help already. We promise that we won't just tell you to get an early night, have a warm bath and relax before bed. We understand that very often, basic sleep advice is just not enough.
You will need ongoing support and it is likely that you will benefit from sleep monitoring which a sleep diary will help you with. With guidance, we will show you how to improve your sleep efficiency so that your sleep quality improves and you no longer spend so much time in bed without sleeping.
Once the psychology of the individual's sleep problem has been understood and therapy has been carried out to normalise sleep thoughts and behaviours, it is important that you be assisted to move forward and also to sustain positive changes made in relation to sleep.
A significant amount of coaching will focus on helping you to create a good sleep-wake routine. With the help of a sleep diary, we will help you to chip away at a routine which will not only improve sleep but will also improve your general wellbeing.
You will have help to get yourself exercising again and winding down properly.
Especially if you are visiting the clinic with a sleep disorder which is directly related to stress and hyper-arousal (insomnia, sleep anxiety, nightmares, sleepwalking), you will be taught Mindfulness techniques to help you to relax and wind down properly. Mindfulness is also an excellent vehicle for stress management.
How many sessions will I need?
You will need to come in for an initial consultation and at least one follow-up session.