Sleep Evading You, Then the solution could be in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Lisa Gargaro Sleep Co 4th April 2020

A third of Britain’s have reported to be getting less than the recommended minimum of seven hours of sleep a night. While a staggering 15% meet all the criteria of insomnia. Many experts are now saying that the frontline treatment for this cognitive behavioural therapy.

I ask you these simple yet direct questions. Do you get enough sleep? Do you sleep well?

These very important questions need to be considered when you think about insufficient sleep — How do you define bad sleep? How do I know if I am suffering? Let me help you by explaining this. Insufficient sleep is defined as short duration and/or poor quality — this alone is never the full result. What follows long periods of disturbed sleep are various health issues associated with it. Some of these including obesity, Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, depression, irritability, and a reduction in general well-being.

According to a 2019 report from Statistics Britain, the answers to those to questions are a resounding no and no.

With a third of Britain’s reportingly getting much less than those minimum seven hours of recommended sleep a night.

Interestingly about half of Britain’s (55 per cent of women and 43 per cent of men) have reported having answered the following questions. Do you have trouble falling or staying asleep with the answer “sometimes/most of the time/all of the time”?

When those same statisticians did a follow-up report this year, looking deeper into the data. Found that as many as 15 per cent of those questioned now met the criteria for insomnia. The main one being that we are so dissatisfied with our sleep that is impacting our daytime functionality.

In an industry

With an ever-growing assortment of products. All promising to improve our sleep — everything from aromatherapy oils to weighted blankets. I would make the real suggestion to those insomniacs out there. Stop with all the fad for now and get real. It may be time to consider therapy.

“This is the thing with insomnia. It often doesn’t just resolve on its own and actually requires treatment,” says Katherine Rasmussen, director of behavioural sleep medicine at the Centre for Sleep & Human Performance in Calgary.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I)

CBT-I has been shown to work so well that it’s the recommended first-line treatment in Canada, US & Australia which are the leading areas of research in sleep medicine.

“It’s about 70 to 80 per cent effective,” Rasmussen says. “And we also use it to help people taper off their sleep medication.” This is massive result as the sleep medications are proven to not resolve the issue. The mask these with horrendous side-effects and do not actually help you sleep. It closes off the part of your brain that registers sleep so it tricks you into thinking you are when you are not.

When I use CBT with my clients , the point is to help patients change maladaptive behaviours. One of the main ones being they actually spend too much time in bed.

“They have become so desperate for more sleep, that they believe that one of the strategies they use try is to go to bed earlier and then stay in bed later. But can in all honest worsens their sleep. It fragments it even more due to them not having enough sleep pressure.”

Can Sleep Apps Help?

Relaxation training, another pillar of CBT insomnia also helps. By including the using of popular meditation apps like Calm and Headspace relaxation can help greatly.

“What we are finding even more these days, are that people just simply can’t turn off their brain. So anything to help bring down that hyper-arousal is enormously important. And that’s a great example of how using technology positively to help us relax.”

CBT Insomnia programs can take as little as just over a month and the effects can be long-lasting.

So in my programs you’re in treatment — active therapy, for say – about four weeks or so. And statistically, we see effects that continue for another year or two. I say a year or two because we often don’t examine people after that. It’s possible that sleep is fine for longer but most clients don’t reach back to myself after this time.

Lisa Gargaro is an expert in cognitive behavioral therapy and the sleep consultant who provides this service within her personalized sleep programs she creates on an individual basis by adding CBT insomnia to her programs where it will be effective and clients are happy to try this therapy.

Users start with a detailed assessment and then move on to daily or weekly tracking and therapist-directed behavioural changes. That could include adjusting bedtime, exercising more often and avoiding daily naps. Yes, who know that actually that snooze on the couch every afternoon could be interfering with nightly sleep in most cases, not all but some.

Cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia

Beyond lifestyle habits, mental health factors can also contribute to insomnia and would be addressed in a client’s treatment plan.

“There are higher rates of what we call comorbidity. This is when a client meets criteria for both insomnia and mental health issues, with depression and anxiety being the most common of those,” Lisa Gargaro explains.

CBT insomnia therapy options start at £375 for a 4week program.

“I’ve created and structured my programs so they are individualized working with myself as your therapist, but they cover many good, relevant aspects of sleep that I think have good value for patients.”

Do You Have Insomnia?

The British Sleep Society (BSS) defines insomnia as “difficulty sleeping at least three nights a week for at least one month and that is associated with impaired functioning or distress.”

Risk Factors for Insomnia

According to the BSS, the following factors can increase risk of insomnia: increasing age, being female, an anxiety-prone personality, family history of insomnia and having medical and mental illnesses. Major life events such as marital separation or illness can precipitate the onset of insomnia.

So, I ask you if you can answer the questions do you sleep well or have undisturbed sleep through the night with a no, then we need to talk.

I offer a no-obligation 15min call where we can chat about your own circumstances and I can discuss how I can help you with my CBT insomnia sleep programs. Alternatively, if you know this is true and wish to start right away, you can do so by clicking on this link here, purchase the program today by clicking here.

Don’t delay any longer, it will not go away on its own. Changes must be made, so let’s make it today and get you sleeping better. Making your life can be the best it can be as you truly deserve it to be.