Insomnia Treatments

Here at Life Dental and Wellbeing we take a complete approach to health – we know that in order to avoid future dental and health problems and maintain wellbeing for the future, keeping on top of some of the key aspects of health such as sleep, nutrition and mental welfare are just as important. That’s why we offer these services in our clinic. One of the most common problems we attend GP surgeries for are sleep issues such as insomnia – yet they can be easily avoided. The Sleepyhead Clinic based at Life Dental and Wellbeing is here to help.

What is insomnia?

Insomnia can present in various ways and has many causes. It is defined by either problems getting to sleep or problems staying asleep, early morning awakenings or all of them! This makes for very non-restorative sleep. This is accompanied by significant stress in our social, occupational or other important areas of our lives due to the low energy, poor concentration, attention and memory that comes along with poor sleep. This can go on to affect our moods and our ability to cope with work and social responsibilities. This usually occurs for at least three nights a week and is considered a sleep disorder if it lasts longer than three months. It is an extremely lonely condition.

Insomnia has many different causes. Mental health conditions, an inability to wind down, pain, work, stress, social issues, becoming a parent, moving home, getting divorced, coping with other medical disorders….the list goes on and on. Equally insomnia can be the cause of some of these issues itself! The point is, it doesn’t matter what the original cause was for disrupting your night’s sleep, because the factors that perpetuate the problem are rarely the same. That means you could take away all the causes, and you might still find yourself with a sleep problem. Most insomnia related issues are habitual; meaning that this awful, fragmented sleeping arrangement is actually some sort of routine that your body has got itself used to.

As a society we don’t know a lot about sleep but the beliefs we do have about sleep are generally not based in science and so what seem like common sense ways to fix sleep problems, are actually making them worse. However, there is a solution and that’s what we provide at the Sleepyhead Clinic located at Life Dental and Wellbeing! It’s called CBTi or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia.

What is CBTi and how is it different from what I have already tried?

CBTi is different from other forms of cognitive behavioural therapy and it’s a lot safer than sleeping pills. CBTi is based in behavioural sleep medicine – a combination of scientific and effective strategies that when working in sync, help get sleep back on track. We know that when you follow CBTi in a mere matter of weeks, sleep can be transformed!

There are three main aspects of the treatment that usually need to be tackled in the right order.

1. Correcting the inaccurate information we thought we knew about sleep.

Our belief system is a powerful thing, dictating our actions and behaviours, so correcting it in favour of scientific and factual information is very important.

2. Building up a natural innate sleep drive.

We all have one, and for the lucky ones, it allows us to have a refreshing sleep at night and to be awake and feeling good during the day. In order to find that again we use your sleep diaries to analyse and build a new sleep protocol which encourages a strong sleep drive at the right time of day.

3. Winding down and relaxation.

On its own, being relaxed won’t automatically fix insomnia and related issues (and it can be very hard to do!), and hence why this may not have worked in the past. However, when being taught the right, scientific relaxation tools whilst building up a sleep drive and having the right beliefs occupying your mind, relaxation becomes easy!

Finally during the entire program, you will be supported by a sleep expert who can answer all your queries about sleep – you don’t have to do it alone anymore!

How does The Sleepyhead Clinic work?

CBTi is usually taught over four sessions lasting about an hour each. These can be one to one sessions or group sessions. They can be over the phone, online or in clinic. The sessions can be taught over four weeks or longer, dependent on your schedule. CBTi can be adapted for most mental or physical medical issues that may be going on at the time – just keep us informed. The great thing about CBTi is that when you know all the strategy, you become the expert and you no longer need help from a sleep specialist – that means no money wasting and no time wasting!

Differences can be seen after just a month if applying all the strategies and these differences can be life changing and long term. That means you won’t have to implement CBTi strategies forever, just until you feel comfortable with your sleep. After this you will become a normal sleeper- someone who doesn’t follow all the rules but gets good sleep anyway! http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10608-012-9476-1

‘I began the CBTI program feeling a bit reluctant and sceptical. Like a lot of insomniacs, I felt I’d tried everything – and feared this would be yet another failed attempt. It was a delight to discover that Sleepyhead’s methods actually work – and are all backed up by rigorous scientific research. After 20 years of surviving on a just a couple of hours, I’m now getting a full night’s sleep. And, for a chronic insomniac, that’s truly transformative! Stephanie’s experience and enthusiasm, coupled with her effective methods, make for a powerful, drug-free solution to insomnia’ – RP, London Entrepreneur

See what the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence have to say about CBTi –

http://cks.nice.org.uk/insomnia#!scenariorecommendation:1

Want to do your own research? Use Google Scholar to search through a vast library of robust research studies supporting CBTi in treating insomnia and improving other medical problems in the process. Here are just a few:

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10608-012-9476-1

http://sleepyheadclinic.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/PIIS13899457100001462.pdf

http://jco.ascopubs.org/content/26/28/4651.full.pdf+html

If you would like to make an appointment to see Steph then please contact us at the practice.

You can find out more via The Sleepyhead Clinic website – www.sleepyheadclinic.co.uk where you can read Steph’s blog and you can follow @Sleepy twitter feed for up to date free tips and advice on all your sleep health needs.