Finding the best treatment for insomnia
Your performance at work is suffering. You’re always tired and in bad moods. You cannot sleep. How can you fix this?
Dr David Cunnington is a specialist sleep physician based in East Melbourne. He is particularly interested in where sleep problems cross the boundary between physical and mental health issues. He wisely suggests that the first step to seeking a remedy for insomnia is to consult a professional:
The first step in treating insomnia is to work with a health professional to identify contributing factors to poor sleep. These can be medical conditions, physical and mental or lifestyle factors, and your general practitioner (GP) is the ideal starting point as they will be familiar with your medical history. Then a treatment plan can be developed.
A very effective treatment that is used for primary insomnia and some forms of co-morbid insomnia is cognitive behavioural therapy specifically for insomnia (CBTi). This has been shown to dramatically reduce insomnia symptoms and is available via psychologists with specific experience in treating insomnia.
Don’t be intimidated by the terminology. Think of an appointment with a psychologist as “you” time, in a safe, relaxing and non-threatening environment.
The therapeutic techniques described involve a psychologist working alongside you to help you develop techniques for getting to sleep and staying asleep. They will also explore underlying issues related to your sleep issues, such as anxiety or depression.