Updated: May 11
Did you know you can access counseling to help with sleep issues? You are likely aware that a good night's rest is a significant pillar to mental health and wellness - but what happens when falling asleep, staying asleep, and waking up rested is a challenge? What causes it? How can sleep issues be treated naturally?
The causes of poor sleep can be many including having young children, working shifts, stress, genetics, health issues, and thought racing. The impact of restless or poor quality sleep can be significant. Research shows us that poor sleep postpartum can increase the risk of postpartum depression. Not only for new moms, but poor sleep also impacts everyone's physical health and longevity, cause moodiness, irritability anxiety, weight gain, and impact relationships both personally and professionally.
A rough night's sleep can increase difficulty making decisions, cause symptoms of depression, isolation, and an overall feeling of not being balanced. Not sleeping through the night can also inhibit your ability to engage fully and meaningfully in your life and the activities you enjoy.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states: "(insufficient sleep) increases the risk of type 2 disease, cardiovascular disease, and obesity. It advises 7-9 hours of sleep".
Unfortunately, sleep issues are sometimes self-medicated through alcohol use or melatonin supplements whose long-term effects can also impact your mental health and also proves to be a band-aid solution.
Counselors have many tools to help you resolve sleep issues. This includes CBT-I. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for Insomnia.
Prof. Daniel Freeman, a psychiatrist, and his colleagues at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom researched CBT-I. He and his colleagues randomly assigned 3,755 students with insomnia from 26 universities in the U.K. to receive either CBT-I or usual care, they found that the treatment was associated with significant improvements.
Students who received CBT-I not only slept better, but they also experienced less paranoia and had fewer hallucinations.
According to a 2015 meta-analysisTrusted Source, CBT-I is also an effective treatment for anxiety and depression in people with insomnia.
In this particular therapy protocol, we examine your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors related to sleep. Within the therapeutic conversation, we explore what types of thinking, feelings and potentially sabotaging behaviors are occurring to prevent you to sleep.
We then work with you to develop skills, strategies, and good habits to increase your amount and quality of sleep to help break the cycle of poor sleep and worsening mental health.
If however, you're having recurring nightmares or you think your sleep issues are trauma or grief-related we can also help with that as well.
Sometimes a good night's sleep really is all the cure you ever need! Reach out for a free 20-minute consultation to see if counseling might be a good option for your sleep issues!
Farah Kurji (BSW, MSW, RCSW, YTT, EMDR CIT) is an advanced trained clinician specializing in trauma, loss, anxiety, and depression. She includes EMDR & CBT amongst her treatment modalities. Farah also provides clinical consultations and debriefing.
She enjoys nothing more than having a refreshing and amazing night's sleep! You can book with her or her team HERE.
Extent and Health consequences of Poor Sleep. Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Sleep Medicine and Research; Colten HR, Altevogt BM, editors.
Freeman, D., Sheaves, B., Goodwin, G.M. et al. Effects of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia on the mental health of university students: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials16, 236 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13063-015-0756-4
Paruthi S, Brooks LJ, D’Ambrosio C, Hall WA, Kotagal S, Lloyd RM, et al. Recommended amount of sleep for pediatric populations: a consensus statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. J Clin Sleep Med 2016;12(6):785–786. https://aasm.org/resources/pdf/pediatricsleepdurationconsensus.pdf pdf icon[PDF – 221KB]external icon
Watson NF, Badr MS, Belenky G, Bliwise DL, Buxton OM, Buysse D, et al. Recommended amount of sleep for a healthy adult: a joint consensus statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society. Sleep 2015;38(6):843–844. https://aasm.org/resources/pdf/pressroom/adult-sleep-duration-consensus.pdf pdf icon[PDF – 250KB]external icon
Ye Y-y, Zhang Y-f, Chen J, Liu J, Li X-j, Liu Y-z, et al. (2015) Internet-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (ICBT-i) Improves Comorbid Anxiety and Depression—A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. PLoS ONE 10(11): e0142258. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0142258