As a Sleep Specialist and one of the few psychologists trained in Insomnia-focused CBT in Newcastle, Dr Stuart Sadler (Clinical Psychologist) is well versed in working with conditions such as insomnia, nightmares, and early morning waking which affect many of those that we see.
When we feel restless or tired, our overall wellbeing is affected and bodily functions such as energy levels, concentration, and our memory can be affected after a night of poor sleep, leading us to feel even worse.
It is well documented that rest and sleep play a huge role in physical and mental health and getting to the bottom of what is causing your sleep problems and employing effective approaches from CBT for Insomnia (CBT-I) can help you to feel better and function better at home and at work.
Here are some ways you can improve your sleep tonight:
Develop a Routine
One of the most effective approaches to sleeping better is to develop a regular night-time sleep routine.
By building a bedtime routine, your mind and body becomes used to this ritual and will automatically start to calm and prepare you for better sleep as you go through each stage of your routine.
Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day and follow a routine such as reading before bed, washing your face or showering, and brushing your teeth, all at set times.
Remember to reduce light exposure for at least 2 hours before going to bed.
Limit Stimulants and Depressants
During the day many of us drink caffeine to stay focussed and alcohol in the evening to wind down, but both of these substances impact the nervous system and can affect the overall quality of sleep.
Too much caffeine during the day can make it harder to get to sleep, while alcohol might make you drowsy but is also likely to lead to night time waking, poorer quality sleep and more vivid dreams.
Limit caffeine throughout the day and try to avoid alcohol before you want to sleep.
Get Rid of Distractions
The bedroom should ideally be used just for sleeping, but this isn’t always possible.
Rid your bedroom of things that could prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep such as televisions, bright lights, pets and anything that might make a loud noise. Dark, quiet and cool environments are optimal for both falling asleep and staying asleep.
If you live in an area with light pollution, try installing blackout blinds, and if you have lots of noise going on, earplugs can help eliminate this and help you get a better night’s sleep.
For More Information
If you need help overcoming your sleep issues, or are looking for specialist Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia, Nightmares or Early Waking, contact us by calling us on 07966 645 198 today.
Dr Stuart Sadler
Chartered Clinical Psychologist
Newcastle Psychologist & Counselling