Everyone knows that sleep is a fundamental requirement for the health of a person. It is essential for the physical, emotional, and psychological wellbeing and can affect the mental capacity, emotion regulation and how we interact with the environment around us.
Many people struggle with getting adequate sleep or their sleep quality might be poor. This is especially true for the younger populations. The tendency to use phones, tabs, laptops and other screen devices can affect your body’s natural sleep cycle and make your sleep patterns irregular which in turn can affect the quality of your sleep and the rest you should be getting.
A mental sleep-wake health disorder with the notable characteristics of struggling to fall asleep, struggling to stay asleep or waking up often. This disruptive pattern will affect the overall rest your body and mind need to get, and can start affecting your daily activities (school/work, relationships, hobbies etc.). The symptoms include daytime fatigue, cognition issues, irritability, stress etc. Acute Insomnia is short-term insomnia lasting less than a few weeks as a response to stressors in life (moving locations, new job, divorce etc.). Chronic Insomnia is long-term insomnia lasting months or even years. There may not be any discernible trigger causing chronic insomnia.
A Sleep disorder where people may struggle staying awake during the day i.e., excessive day time sleepiness or time spent sleeping. It can be caused by medical issues like sleep apnoea (not being able to breathe properly), narcolepsy, head injuries, genetics etc. This can also be caused by drug abuse or alcohol abuse. Other psychological issues like depression, sleep deprivation (not sleeping enough at night) can also lead to hypersomnia. (For medical ailments, please consult a doctor for treatment).
These refer to sleep disturbing disorders that can happen just as you are about to fall as asleep, when you sleep or just as you’re waking up. Common ones are:
vivid dreams causing fear, anxiety or terror.
Also called Sleep terrors, while similar to nightmares, usually will happen during deep sleep.
You move around and might look awake even though you are asleep. You usually can’t remember it the next day.
Causes the person to make sounds, or speak aloud at night during their sleep.
Unable to control or move their body while trying to fall asleep or just waking up.
It is resulted when your internal ‘body clock’ that usually regulates how your body functions throughout the day may be impaired. Those with disrupted rhythms may have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, waking too early, sleeping but not getting enough rest, might not be as alert in the day. It can result in impaired cognition, stomach issues, headaches etc. This sleep disorder can be caused by jet lag, shift work (night shift/early shift), gadget/screen addiction etc.
While some of these issues have medical triggers, some have mental health related triggers as well. Consult your doctor to deal with any physical/medical issues you may be having that affects your sleep. Other ways to seek help for these disorders is through therapy and training. While not all kinds of issues can be avoided (like shift work), there are ways to make the transition/pattern smoother.
Our therapists will work with you to identify the severity and underlying causes of your sleep issues. Since sleep issues can also be triggered by other mental health problems, a proper assessment will be helpful to develop targeted interventional plans. Changing lifestyle habits and acquiring relaxation skills will also be part of the process.