April 4, 2023

Why CBT is the first port of call when your bed is a battleground

We’re constantly being told how important sleep is to our wellbeing and mental health; being chronically tired is like being punch-drunk whilst trying to function in our busy lives.

Insomnia sucks the happiness out of the world for those who suffer with it; it effects everything in our lives and can really buddy up with stress, anxiety and depression, which can seriously impact our work and relationships.

The one thing many people, including our client, Lyndsey – who you’ll hear from later – haven’t tried to combat their sleep issues is CBT.  Sleep issues can indeed be psychological, they can simply be a bad habit, amongst other things.

The NHS has been moving away from prescribing sleeping pills, recognising that they not only have side-effects and may cause dependency.  They also have a very limited effect on insomnia in the long term.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) now recommends a form of CBT as a first-line approach for short-term and chronic insomnia.

Lyndsey was desperate, having suffered with chronic insomnia for a number of years. Until recently, she hadn’t thought about using CBT to treat it, but after reading about it and getting a recommendation for Blue Talking Therapies from a friend, she decided to give it a go. with great results.

Lyndsey Mitchinson

Here’s Lyndsey’s story…

“I’ve suffered with insomnia for many years now and I was at breaking point with it – the thought of having to live with it forever made me feel truly awful,” she said.
“It was so bad at one stage, when I was at work and would just sit and my desk and hope I could get through the morning until I could lie down at lunchtime. I had a pillow in my car and would go and lie down for half an hour just to get through the day.
“I’ve cried on weekends as I’ve felt so exhausted before I even got out of bed, and it has impacted my motivation to want to do things. I often felt faint because I was so tired and I’ve been irritable, drained and unable to concentrate.
“Despite not knowing anything about it, my perception of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) was that it was an outdated therapy offered by the NHS,” she said.
“However, after reading a magazine article about it being helpful for sleep, I decided to try it as I just couldn’t stand it any longer. A friend of mine said she really rated Blue so I thought I’d give it a go – I’d already tried a number of other things with little success, including acupuncture and hypnosis.
“Since starting my sessions online with Liam, I noticed a real improvement. Gaining an understanding of how my issues started and being able to talk to someone who is compassionate and actually understands how I feel has been a game changer,” said Lyndsey.
“I’m now having more nights where I sleep than don’t and it’s literally life-changing for me to wake up and feel rested and energised rather than exhausted and fed-up.
“I continued my sessions further and was seeing improvements all the time. I now know what to do and what not to when it comes to impacting on my mind and sleep.  I can’t thank Liam enough and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this to anyone who struggles with sleep.”

There are many resources to help with insomnia, many of which don’t work for everyone and frustation and sleeplessness can then build as a result, creating a negative loop of behaviour – this is where CBT works brilliantly, breaking the cycle.

There is a free app available, which uses CBT-I – a specific insomnia focussed kind of Cognitve Therapy – which is getting good reviews for its sleep tracking and resources – it’s called Sleepful.

If you prefer a more personal approach from our North Shields therapy rooms in North Tyneside – or have a remote session online,  please do get in touch with Danielle on reception 0191 258 4958 or email enquiries@bluetalkingtherapies.co.uk

Like Lyndsey, you do not need to suffer, it is possible to change this awful struggle with sleep into a positive experience.

Thanks, Becci