While most people think “inTired desk worker who most likely suffers from insomniasomnia” means that you can’t sleep at all, it actually also refers to the common kind of sleep problems that many people suffer from – difficulty falling asleep in the evening, and/or waking up in the middle of the night and struggling to fall asleep again.

And, even though insomnia has quite a strict formal definition, a lot of people have intermittent sleep problems that are very similar in their nature and in the suffering they cause.

Insomnia defined

Physiologically insomnia is associated with over-activation of the central nervous system. Some of the typical symptoms of insomnia can be: repeated difficulty in falling asleep, recurring long periods of awakening, and/or short sleep duration in spite of adequate opportunity for sleep.
Nevertheless, for some people that suffer from insomnia the problem is not so much about how much sleep they get. It is rather about the quality of the sleep they get; that they sleep too lightly and/or don’t feel that sleeping restores their energy.

According to the World Health Organisation, for insomnia to be considered a medical disorder, it must occur at least three nights a week and result in some degree of daytime distress, or impairment of daytime functioning.

When insomnia lasts for less than one month, it is considered as ‘acute.’ If it persists beyond one month, it is considered as ‘chronic’. Then the insomnia has often become self-perpetuating, i.e. the worry about not being able to sleep makes it difficult to sleep.

Effects of insomnia

The most obvious effect of insomnia is the feeling of being sleep deprived, and a person who suffers from sleep deprivation…

  • is at a greater risk for having accidents (motor vehicles and other accidents);
  • is more likely to make poor judgements, be unable to think clearly, be irritable, have low tolerance for stress, as well as have a lack of interest, motivation, and initiative;
  • is at a greater risk of developing other mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety;
  • is more likely to generally perform poorly at work, as well as take sick leave more often due to fatigue and other complaints;
  • is more likely to find personal and relationship problems more difficult to deal with and overcome.

Insomnia treatments

Over 95% of people who seek medical help for insomnia are prescribed sleeping tablets and other sedatives; most commonly some form of benzodiazepines.

Benzodiazepines are generally recommended only for short-term use, since they promote light sleep and decrease deep sleep. They also actually in themselves have some unsavoury side effects, like daytime fatigue, cognitive impairments, impaired motor speed and coordination, and increased risk for motor vehicle accidents! And furthermore, they tend to cause physical dependence, which leads to withdrawal symptoms (in the form of “rebound insomnia”) unless they are carefully tapered down.

As far as long-term effectiveness of sleep medication, it is quite clear that any improvements with regard to sleep quantity and sleep quality are quickly lost when the medication is discontinued. On the other hand, with a treatment that integrates psychotherapy, sleep hygiene, behavioural interventions and mental relaxation, the achieved sleep improvements are typically lasting.

Therefore, if you suffer from insomnia or a similar sleep problem, the recommendation is that you choose a drug-free, integrated solution; Relax-the-Mind Sleep Therapy!

Relax-the-Mind Sleep Therapy Clinic

The Sleep Therapy Clinic is located in Sherwood (in the Indooroopilly – Oxley corridor), in the inner South-West suburbs of Brisbane, Queensland.

Book in for your first appointment NOW!

Ph: (07) 3716 0600

If you have questions that you can’t find answers to on the website, you are welcome to send me an email (via the form on my main website “Integrating Awareness”).

Online Treatment for Sleep Problems

If you do not live within easy reach of the Sherwood clinic, or if you for any other reason prefer not to come and have your sessions at the clinic, you can learn all the necessary techniques for overcoming your sleep problems in our recorded course, “Relax the Mind to Sleep”.