Enabling people to help themselves
Medical Professionals

Sleep Issues

Sleeplessness can affect us all from time to time. It is important to note that short periods of sleeplessness are perfectly normal. However when it persists sleeplessness can have a detrimental effect on your psychological and physical well-being. Long periods of sleep can cause you to feel awful – overtired, cranky and to lose your zest for life and in extreme cases can contribute to anxiety or depression.

If you are having problems sleeping it may be helpful to develop a consistent sleep regime, working with your own natural patterns. Are you a night owl? Do you prefer to stay up late and get up later? Or perhaps you are an early bird? Up at the crack of dawn and in bed by 10pm. Either way, consistency is the key!

If you should wake up in the night, try hard not to worry. Accept that you are awake and at some point you should fall back asleep. Try not looking at the clock. Make sure you have set an alarm to wake you up at the time you need to get up. You might want to keep a pen and paper by your bed and write down any thoughts or concerns that you have that might be keeping you awake.

Try to make certain that your sleeping environment is calm, comfortable and quiet. Avoid watching TV or film while in bed. Some people find listening calming music or reading a book before bed helpful in lulling them to sleep. Getting regular exercise, cutting down on caffeine and alcohol can make a big difference. Try it – you might be surprised!!

Sometimes the simple things are the best. Mindfulness or meditation can help you prepare for sleep. It is very important to remember that you are in charge of you. You are not ruled by your heart, your head or your thoughts. Tomorrow is another day!

Charities & Support Groups

National charities and support groups for this issue:

Samaritans

www.samaritans.org
FREE Helpline 116 123
Email jo@samaritans.org

The Samaritans provide 24 hour, confidential, emotional support for anyone in crisis.

Mental Health Foundation

www.mentalhealth.org.uk

Provides information and support for anyone with mental health problems or learning disabilities

 

Mind - For Better Mental Health

www.mind.org.uk

We provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem.

 

Related Issues

Depression

Depression is often called the common cold of the psychiatric world, nevertheless it is a very frightening condition.  There are many different strains and symptoms and they are not always easy to identify. It is a condition that will affect around one in 5 people at some point in their lives.  Often it is the strong who suffer the most.

Depression is not ‘sadness’ or ‘unhappiness’ and those suffering from depression may experience a wide spectrum of symptoms, emotional and physical, which just won’t shift. The sufferers may isolate themselves, be detached or feeling ‘in a bubble’ and sense a blackness or heaviness of their mood. Often they have a deep sense of not feeling okay. The longer it goes on the deeper the spiral becomes. Many find it difficult to pinpoint a specific cause of their depression.  However, this does not make their symptoms any less real. 

Living with depression or living with a depressed person is very hard and at times this can make seeking help even harder. People can fear stigma or labelling will occur It is very important for people suffering with depression to believe there are many people who are willing to help.  Although it feels awful, and the sufferer may feel frightened, with the right help symptoms will be greatly reduced and, in time, overcome.

Symptoms can or may include:

  • Frightening thoughts
  • Anxiety
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fatigue 
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
  • Insomnia, or excessive sleeping
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Overeating or appetite loss
  • Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts

Most of the above symptoms can be considered normal responses.  However, if you experience some of these symptoms for extended periods of time please contact your GP and consider discussing your symptoms with a trained counsellor.

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