What is insomnia?
Insomnia is difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, even when a person has the chance to do so. People with insomnia can feel dissatisfied with their sleep and usually experience one or more of the following symptoms: fatigue, low energy, difficulty concentrating, mood disturbances, and decreased performance in work or at school.
How long does insomnia last?
Acute insomnia is brief and often happens because of life circumstances, for example, when you can’t fall asleep the night before an exam, or after receiving stressful or bad news. Many people may have experienced this type of passing sleep disruption, and it tends to resolve without any treatment.
Chronic insomnia is disrupted sleep that occurs at least three nights per week and lasts at least three months. Chronic insomnia disorders can have many causes, changes in the environment, unhealthy sleep habits, shift work, other clinical disorders, and certain medications could lead to a long-term pattern of insufficient sleep. People with chronic insomnia may benefit from some form of treatment to help them get back to healthy sleep patterns. Chronic insomnia can be comorbid, meaning it is linked to another medical or psychiatric issue, although sometimes it is difficult to understand this cause and effect relationship.
Symptoms of insomnia
Insomnia symptoms may include:
- Difficulty falling asleep at night
- Waking up during the night
- Waking up too early
- Not feeling well-rested after a night’s sleep
- Daytime tiredness or sleepiness
- Irritability, depression or anxiety
- Difficulty paying attention, focusing on tasks or remembering
- Increased errors or accidents
- Ongoing worries about sleep
Causes of insomnia
Sometimes, insomnia only lasts a few days and goes away on its own, especially when the insomnia is tied to an obvious temporary cause, such as stress over an upcoming presentation, a painful breakup, or jet lag. Other times, insomnia is stubbornly persistent. Chronic insomnia is usually tied to an underlying mental or physical issue.
- Anxiety, stress, and depression are some of the most common causes of chronic insomnia.
- Medical problems or illness can contribute to insomnia, including asthma, allergies, Parkinson’s disease, hyperthyroidism, acid reflux, kidney disease, and cancer. Chronic pain is also a common cause of insomnia.
- Many prescription drugs can interfere with sleep, including antidepressants, stimulants for ADHD, corticosteroids, thyroid hormone, high blood pressure medications and some contraceptives.
- Insomnia is itself a sleep disorder, but it can also be a symptom of other sleep disorders including sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, and circadian rhythm disturbances tied to jet lag or late-night shift work.
Online therapy for insomnia
Many people complain that frustrating negative thoughts and worries prevent them from sleeping at night, and therefore online therapy can be effective in addressing insomnia. CBT is a form of psychotherapy that treats problems by modifying negative thoughts, emotions, and patterns of behaviour. A study at Harvard Medical School found that CBT was more effective at treating chronic insomnia than prescription sleep medication but without the risks or side effects.
Emotional issues such as stress, anxiety, and depression cause half of all insomnia cases, but your daytime habits, sleep routine, and physical health may also play a role. Your online therapist will help you to identify all possible causes of your insomnia. Once the root cause is identified, treatment can be tailored accordingly.
Free initial telephone discussion
If you are looking for online therapy please contact Teresa Lewis for a 15 minute no-obligation discussion. Teresa is a BACP Senior Accredited Counsellor and Psychotherapist so she will be able to briefly discuss your issues, answer questions and explain more about how online therapy can address insomnia. At this time you can decide whether you would like to book an appointment. The discussion is conducted without any obligation to book an appointment.
Make an appointment for online therapy
If you would like to speak to one of our therapists regarding online therapy for insomnia please call our Wolverhampton office on 01902 827808. Alternatively, fill out our online contact form and we will contact you within 24 hours.
Medical disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice by a qualified doctor.