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Sleep problems

Sleep disorders are defined by the Diagnostics and Statistics Manual - 5th edition (DMS-5) and also by the International classification of sleep disorders-3rd edition (ICSD-3); The following list of sleep problems is from DSM-5:

•    insomnia disorder

•    hypersomnolence disorder

•    narcolepsy

•    breathing-related sleep disorders

•    circadian rhythm sleep disorders

•    non-REM (NREM) sleep arousal disorders

•    nightmare disorder

•    REM sleep behavior disorder

•    restless legs syndrome

•    substance- or medication-induced sleep disorder.

Traditionally sleep problems have been treated as a symptom of other mental health or physical problems but current guidance is to treat the sleep problem alongside and separate to other presenting problems (such as anxiety, depression, pain, etc.). Lack of sleep can have a huge impact on daily life, anxiety or stress levels as well as mood, but equally these difficulties can impact on sleep. Hence the current guidance to treat the sleep separately as 'directionality' isn't certain.


Sleep problems tend to fall into 2 broad categories which include insomnias and parasomnias; whilst some sleep problems do require medical and pharmaceutical interventions, many can benefit from psychotherapeutic intervention such as CBT-I (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Insomnia), as well as other therapeutic techniques.

If you are experiencing a sleep problem such as insomnia (struggling to get to sleep, waking during the night, or early waking), Circadian rhythm issues (sleep phase out of sync with daily life), or regular/recurring nightmares / night terrors, then please do get in touch. 

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