We all know what it feels like to have a bad night’s sleep. You would have most likely felt moody, exhausted, and found it more difficult to go about your daily activities. This is because sleep is crucial to feeling energised throughout the day, and being able to enjoy life to it's fullest.

A good night's sleep is essential for maintaining sound physical and mental health, so if you’re experiencing poor sleep patterns it can be highly disruptive to everyday life. You may be experiencing a constant difficulty in falling asleep, or you may be unable to wake up in the morning. You may also have bad quality sleep, in which you are constantly waking up in the middle of the night. Other outcomes of poor sleep may include feeling exhausted throughout the day, having difficulties concentrating, feeling physical discomfort such as headaches or nausea, or making more mistakes and forgetting things more than usual.

Insomnia is an inability to fall asleep or to maintain uninterrupted sleep, which may be caused by changes in your sleeping environment, medications, anxiety, or other health problems. Around 30%-50% of the general population experience insomnia and around 10% have chronic insomnia.

If you are experiencing insomnia, there is likely to be contributing factors. There are a number factors that can contribute to sleep difficulties, including:

  • Caffeine intake
  • Diet
  • Activity levels
  • Stress
  • Physical health conditions
  • Sleeping environment

This means that as any of these factors change, your sleep may change as well – making sleep difficulties a very common experience for many people. These difficulties will generally pass as your routine is restored back to normal. However, sometimes the factor is ongoing and therefore the difficulties remain for a long period of time. You might also feel as though there is no specific reason for your problems with sleep.

As a number of factors can be contributing to your poor sleep, it can be difficult to identify what the causes are in order to stop these from continuing to impact your sleep. The practitioners at VCPS who specialise in sleep concerns can help you identify these causes and feel in control of your sleep again. Specific ways that they can assist include:

  • Providing a comprehensive assessment on your current sleep patterns, quality of sleep, and the effects the poor sleep is having on your daily functioning
  • Record and examine a thorough medical history and identify the causes of the sleep difficulties and any contributing factors from your current lifestyle
  • Providing evidence-based strategies to improve your sleep – while also personalising these and practicing different techniques to find out what works best for you
  • Improving your sleep hygiene, which means slightly changing your environment and night-time activities to increase your sleep quality
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