Table of Contents
Can’t Sleep? Improve your Relationships! © Martyn Carruthers
How well do you sleep?
Most people experience sleep problems sometimes. People who ignore these problems may have sleeping habits that interfere with their lives. Sleep patterns are often disturbed by stress, relationships, family challenges, age and health issues.
People who feel stressed may experience difficulties sleeping – and difficulty sleeping may increase stress. We help people who:
- have unsatisfying sleep
- have difficulty falling asleep
- wake up too early in the morning
- suffer from anxiety dreams or nightmares
- wake up at night with difficulty returning to sleep
Your sleeplessness may cause you to feel low on energy, irritated and have difficulty concentrating. Insomnia can be transient (short term), intermittent (on and off), or chronic (constant).
Causes of Insomnia
About 75% of all cases of insomnia seem to be related to emotional stress about relationship problems. If you risk separation of a partner, the death of a family member, or the loss of a child or a job, you may have trouble sleeping.
We can help you, especially if unpleasant feelings and self-talk are keeping you awake; for example if …
- you feel guilty
- you feel depressed
- your life does not make sense
Chronic insomnia may be related to mental or physical disorders. Insomnia is also associated with depression, which often accompanies guilt or a loss of life purpose. See Meaning of Life
Chronic insomnia may also be related to misuse of caffeine, alcohol, or other substances; shift work or other nighttime activities; or to chronic stress.
If you want to worsen your insomnia, you can:
- nap during the day
- ingest excessive caffeine
- drink alcohol before bedtime
- smoke cigarettes before bedtime
- work rotating shifts or change time zones
- expect to have difficulty sleeping and worry about it
We can help you change these and similar behaviors.
A sleep disorder called narcolepsy is like an extension of dreaming into waking. Symptoms include excessive sleepiness; weak muscles during strong emotions and vivid dreams.
Symptoms often begin after puberty or during young adulthood, when excessive sleepiness produces sleep attacks. This can result in sleeping at school, work and social events; and while eating, talking or at other inappropriate times.
There is no accepted cure for narcolepsy; although the symptoms are often controlled with stimulants, antidepressant drugs; regulating sleep, and/or controlling emotional reactions. Then, most people with narcolepsy can enjoy a near-normal lifestyle. Otherwise, narcolepsy may have strong social, educational and financial consequences.
We can help you reassemble your dreams or nightmares. Our dreaming together is often profoundly effective (and is wonderful for children scared by monster dreams).
How can you manage chronic insomnia?
Relationship and guilt problems may reduce your sleep, especially if you focus on them in your thoughts. We may be able to help you manage chronic insomnia by:
- Resolving relationship problems
- Helping you change any emotional problems
- Identifying, stopping or reducing behaviors that delay sleep
Soulwork therapy can take many forms, depending on what you want and what you are willing to take responsibility for. As most of your emotions originate in your relationships, by making your relationships healthy you simultaneously clarify and make peace with your emotions.
The long-term use of sleeping pills should be under the supervision of a physician to evaluate effectiveness and minimize side effects. Usually, these drugs are prescribed at the lowest dose and for the shortest duration needed to relieve the sleep-related symptoms. The dose can be gradually lowered; if stopped abruptly, insomnia can re-occur. See Side Effects of Prescription Drugs
Your doctor may prescribe sleeping pills (barbiturates or tranquillizers). Barbiturates are considered to be less effective than tranquilizers. Minor tranquilizers may be used for a few nights to restore your sleep cycle and to reduce anxiety, but are not recommended as long-term treatments.
You can reduce or eliminate anxiety and body tension, so that your mind can stop racing, your muscles can relax, and you can sleep. It may take time for you to learn relaxation techniques and to relax quickly and effectively. We can accelerate your learning.
First learn to relax physically; until this is quick and simple. Learning to relax mentally can be more difficult but we can help you make it easy. Become a sleep expert.
Do you spend too much time in bed unsuccessfully trying to sleep? You may benefit by creating a sleep restriction program that at first allows you to only sleep a few hours. You can gradually increase your sleep time until you can sleep normally.