A new way to help insomnia
No matter what you do nothing seems to help you get rid of your insomnia. But nothing seems to work.
CBT for insomnia has been shown to be helpful to improve the quality and quantity of sleep for people suffering from chronic insomnia. NICE has recommends CBTi as an effective treatment for insomnia.
How does CBT for insomnia work?
CBTi helps you to improve your sleep through a combination of education, coaching and counselling that is tailored for you and your sleep problem. You’ll be taught the facts about sleep, good sleep hygiene routines, strategies for relaxing, managing difficult thoughts that stop you sleeping and given support throughout the process. It can be hard work in the first couple weeks so you need to be ready for the challenge.
Before your first session you will be sent a questionnaire to complete. This will form the basis of the work. This needs to be returned a week before your first session.
Nicola will be then be able to work together with you to improve your sleep, in a way that suits you and your lifestyle.
You are able to do CBTi while taking sleeping tablets, you will not be pressured into stopping them. In fact it can be useful to carry on taking them while learning new strategies.
If you would like to stop taking sleeping tablets it is essential for you to see your GP to discuss how to do this safely and to find out the side effects of this process. It is normally recommended that a slow reduction is the best way to minimise withdrawal symptoms.
Warning! Suspected sleep apnoea and driving
If you feel tired all the time despite getting enough sleep then you might have sleep apnoea. This is not a condition that Nicola is able to assess or provide treatment for. However if your assessment reveals that you are at risk for sleep apnoea then Nicola has a duty of care to inform your GP and the DVLA also need to be notified as you are not allowed to drive while this sleep apnoea is being investigated. This is because there is such a high risk of you harming yourself or others in a road traffic accident while sleep apnoea is untreated. If you are found to have sleep apnoea then you should be able to return to driving two weeks after starting treatment.
Quick questionnaire for you to assess your risk for sleep apnoea.
Are you over 50 years old?
Are you male?
Is your neck measurement larger than 16 inches or 42cm?
Is your BMI over 30?
Has someone seen you hold your breath while you sleep?
Do you snore?
Do you have high blood pressure?
Are you tired all the time even though you have slept?
If you answered YES to 6 or more of the above questions you are at high risk for sleep apnoea. Please speak to your GP to arrange an overnight oximetry test. If you would like to arrange this test privately or find out more please click the link below: https://www.sleepunlimited.co.uk/articles/oximetry-assessments
If you answered YES to 3-5 questions then you have a moderate risk of sleep apnoea. Please speak to your GP.
If you scored less than three YES answers then you have a low risk.