“12:01… 12:37… 01:03… 02:12… My mind won’t switch off… Look at the time… You will fall asleep… Maybe another tipple will crack it… I can’t believe it’s time to get up.” 30% of people suffer with insomnia at any one time. Although common in those with medical and psychiatric conditions, most with chronic insomnias do not have an underlying cause. Individuals complain that sleep is too short, interrupted and/ or poor in quality, making them fatigued the following day. Low mood, reduced concentration and memory, are but a few consequences: it can prolong your journey time by a couple of hours!!! Social functioning and vocational performance are affected; sleeping less than 3.5hrs per day over a prolonged period of time increases the risk of mortality by 15% and chronic insomnia rarely resolves without intervention.
We sleep as a result of internal body clocks driving wake-dependent cycles in the context of low arousal. All interventions promoting these factors improve the chance of restorative sleep. Most insomnias are transient or short-term, lasting days to weeks; without restoring good sleep promoting behaviours, some become a longer-term problem. By the time we suffer chronic insomnia, the original causes that lead to problems sleeping – pain, worry, bereavement, childcare, depression – are less important than changing lifestyle and behavioural modification to promote sleep. Interventions include advice about sleep hygiene (the do’s and don’ts before you go to bed), stress management, relaxation, sleep-restriction strategies, management of negative thoughts and working through negative emotional reactions. Where these fail, there are effective medical interventions for treating the condition.
LPP Consulting offers a number of interventions for individuals through its clinical services or resilience programmes.