O sleep! O gentle sleep! Nature's soft nurse, how have I frighted thee, That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down And steep my senses in forgetfulness?
Struggling with insomnia can feel incredibly exhausting, challenging, and demoralizing. It is frustrating to always feel tired, but yet to lie wide awake at night tossing and turning and worrying about not being able to sleep, as well as wondering how you are going to manage the next day. The overall result may impact your ability to perform your job effectively or efficiently, unable to handle stress and demands thrown your way, difficulty managing relationships with those around you, or even affect the way you view yourself and your abilities. Over time you may have found that
Insomnia has disrupted your sleep system (and your life) and has become persistent and difficult to manage.
Many struggle for years and try different approaches to gain relief, such as taking over the counter medication and supplements, self-help materials, sleep hygiene, prescription medication, etc. However, they realize that there is not much success in removing insomnia all together, as the underlying cause still exists and feeds into the disorder. This may lead many to simply 'accept' their insomnia as part of their identity and their eternal destiny. However, this does not have to be the case.
Chronic Insomnia is highly treatable through a very effective and practical short-term drug-free approach.
I can help you resolve your insomnia and achieve optimal sleep.
Insomnia related to:
Lifestyle, Routines, and Environment
Young Adults & Post- Secondary Students
Menopause & perimenopause
Chronic/long-term insomnia that has remained, even after the original triggering issue has resolved
How Do We Resolve Your Insomnia?
To get an insight into your specific insomnia profile a comprehensive assessment of your sleep issues will be conducted. This will include understanding the history, norms, and the difficulties you’ve been experiencing, how you’ve been managing so far, and tracking your sleep.
Once the root cause of your insomnia and what is maintaining it is determined, the elements of the treatment is tailored to your individual insomnia pattern. My primary approach to treating insomnia involves Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) and Acceptance Commitment Therapy for Insomnia. Depending on your needs the treatment elements may also include:
Stimulus Control Therapy
Time in bed management
developing healthy sleep routine and environment
learning about insomnia and why you are experiencing it
addressing sleep-related anxiety and your thoughts and personal beliefs about insomnia and their impact on your sleep difficulties
learning coping strategies when dealing with life stressors
learning effective relaxation techniques
The overall goal of the therapy will be to help you get passed your struggles so that you sleep well again. The aim will be to improve sleep quality and quantity, alleviate symptoms, improve daytime functioning, and learn skills to help you manage sleep over the long-term without the need for ongoing professional help or medication.
As insomnia is multifaceted and may co-occur with other chronic conditions that you may already be receiving support for, we can work together while also collaborating with your existing treatment plan and healthcare team to provide the most effective support.
What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy-Insomnia?
This approach is very effective, skills-based, and an active and goal-oriented method that focuses on regulating the sleep cycle by addressing the underlying causes of chronic insomnia. The goal of CBT-I is to identify and target those factors that may maintain insomnia over time, such as dysregulation of sleep drive, sleep-related anxiety, and sleep-interfering behaviours and is designed to correct or replace those sleep habits and beliefs that sustain or add to the sleep problem. It is also short-term and focused (4-6 sessions), does not require 'deep' therapy, and can be done along other therapies and in conjunctions with sleep medication.
But does it work?
Based on 30 years of clinical research CBT-I is considered the gold standard and the first line of treatment for chronic insomnia. It is endorsed by the medical community for the following reasons:
It is highly effective with 70-80% improvement (and more effective than medication in most cases)
It addresses the root causes of insomnia rather than just relieving the symptoms.
It is short-term and cost-effective in the long run when compared to cumulative cost of medication over time
There are no side-effects or additional issues such as addiction.
The results are long lasting and the skills learned can be used the in the future if insomnia returns.
CBT-I may be a good option for you if:
it takes you more than 30 minute to fall asleep
you are awake 30 minutes or more during the night
sleep difficulties occur 3 or more nights per week
you have experienced symptoms more than 3 months
you are looking to improve sleep efficiency and daytime functioning
reducing or avoiding sleep medication is your goal
you have sleep-related anxiety
your high level of daily stress impacting sleep
are motivated and dedicated to the program