Sleep Problems and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Sleep problems

Sleep problems are incredibly common and affect millions of people each year. Sleep problems can be incredibly anxiety provoking causing both emotional distress and physical discomfort. Sleep problems can also affect memory, concentration, energy levels, and mood and can make you more prone to both physical and mental health problems.

A sleep problem however is usually a symptom of more complex problem for example stress, generalised worry, low self esteem or low confidence. Sleep problems also commonly co-occur with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), depression, anxiety and eating disorders (e.g. anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder or eating disorders not otherwise specified). Therefore treatment for sleep problems must be two fold. Firstly therapy should involve ‘sleep hygiene’ training, this is a behavioural therapy or counselling technique aimed at optimising the physical environment and an individual’s routine (especially during the latter part of the day) to ensure that they are as conducive to sleep as possible. The second part of any therapy programme for sleep problems should also involve an assessment of the thoughts associated with the sleep problem and a restructuring or replacement of those that are either inaccurate, self defeating, catastrophic or otherwise unhelpful and anxiety provoking. The best counselling approach for sleep problems is therefore Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) as it combines the behavioural therapy necessary for sleep hygiene training with cognitive evaluation and restructuring. This is born out in the evidence base which has found Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to be the most effective form of counselling or therapy for sleep problems.

The Clinical and Counselling Psychologists at The British CBT & Counselling Service are specialists not only in working with sleep problems but in also in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) making them the counsellors of choice for individuals looking to resolve sleep problems and related psychological issues.

If you are suffering with any of the issues discussed in this article and would like to seek professional help then you may find our page about Sleep Problems useful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Related Posts

Child asleep

How to give yourself a springtime sleep boost in ten steps

A good night’s sleep has positive effects for us all, but in modern times with pressurised schedules this is an aspect of our daily living which may not be prioritised. Springtime is an ideal time to kick start some new sleep habits with a view to boosting your sleep, or just trying something new. 1. If possible, avoid using electronic

Read More »
Insomnia therapy

How to Have a Better Night’s Sleep

Having trouble sleeping, either struggling to fall asleep, staying asleep and/or waking up early is very common and is usually a symptom of another problem e.g. stress, anxiety, depression, low self-esteem. So, if you want to sleep better over the longer term you will need to work out why you can’t sleep, maybe by speaking to your doctor or a

Read More »
good nights sleep

5 Practical Steps For Dealing With Sleep Problems

How to Deal with Sleep Problems This article deals with Dyssomnias, these are sleep problems characterised by abnormalities in the timing or quality of sleep, e.g. difficulty getting to sleep, staying asleep. Parasomnias or unusual behaviours that occur during sleep e.g. nightmare, sleeping walking, sleep talking/shouting, night terrors, are dealt with in a separate article. Sleep problems are one of

Read More »