Insomnia can wreak havoc with your energy levels, mood and on-the-job performance. The solution lies in a therapeutic approach that targets the underlying causes of your sleep problems.
Struggle to fall asleep, tossing and turning for what feels like hours? Or do you have trouble sleeping through the night or consistently wake up well before your alarm clock? As a result, you lack energy, feel irritable and experience memory difficulties and concentration problems. Worst of all, you’re starting to notice a decline in your performance at work.
If this is your reality more than three times a week despite spending the requisite seven to nine hours in bed each night, and your sleep troubles have lasted longer than one month, you may have what’s called ‘chronic insomnia’.
Unlike other modern malaises like poor diet and insufficient exercise that can be examined and ‘treated’ with salads for lunch or a weekly gym class, insomnia is harder to combat because focusing on it too much can exacerbate the problem. “Sleep is this funny thing that if we try to control it, it gets worse,” says Dr David Cunningham, a sleep physician and director at the Melbourne Sleep Disorders Centre.
Instead, an approach that shifts unhelpful thinking patterns about sleep and changes problematic sleep behaviours is touted as a long-term solution to chronic insomnia.