As many as a third of American male adults – according to research culled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – aren’t getting enough sleep on a regular basis…and that’s an alarming statistic when you break it down. There are a myriad of possible factors at play here with regard to why someone could be struggling to sleep peacefully, the more common reasons having to do with mental health issues or poor “sleep hygiene.”
Whether you’re overwhelmed by stress in your life or are struggling to eradicate negative thought patterns, this article is going to explain how counseling can help you get a better night’s sleep – and while the connection between improved sleep and counseling may seem, on the surface, an obvious one, the two are inextricably linked, presenting the opportunity for a profound impact on your quality of sleep (and, ultimately, quality of life).
Understanding Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (or CBT) remains one of the most common and effective avenues a counselor may take to help improve your sleep quality. This method of “talking therapy” was originally designed to alter thought patterns and ultimately destroy any negative thought cycles, which can contribute to a lower quality of sleep. By identifying the negative thoughts that are running rampant in your psyche, CBT can be utilized to shatter these thoughts from an overwhelming issue into more manageable patterns.
Indeed, we here at Sweet Sleep Studio have been looking at this type of therapy because it has been recognized for its longer-term benefits; in fact, a successful course of CBT can allow you to almost become your own therapist, teaching you how to cope with potentially harmful thoughts – without any assistance.
Of course, CBT is not a be-all, end-all solution for poor sleep quality, and it won’t be the best course of action for everybody. We must stress that the emphasis with CBT, unlike with other forms of therapy, is placed heavily on the patient to practice altering his or her maladaptive thinking…a skill that, in it of itself, can take a myriad of time to master.
Creating Good Habits
What kind of common bad habits can contribute to a bad night’s sleep? How about using handheld mobile devices such as cell phones, consuming caffeine at late hours, watching stress-inducing news stories (which seems to be all there is these days)…and that’s just a start.
Feelings of anxiety or worry can force you to constantly check your phone when in bed, which in turn can accelerate your negative thought cycle, ultimately leading to poorer quality of sleep. In this instance, a counselor can intervene to help you break any bad habits and replace them with positive ones, while also helping you identify negative thoughts that may be leading you to make poor decisions when it’s sleep time.
Therapy vs Medicine
Extensive research as carried out by the Sweet Sleep Studio staff, into whether counseling and CBT in particular is more effective than medicinal methods, has shown that CBT is more effective, particularly in the long-term.
On average, our research has revealed, CBT helps patients fall asleep 20 minutes faster and remain awake during the night 30 minutes fewer than those who did not undergo the therapy. Further, these results have shown to be as good, or in some cases better, than the effects of sleeping medication by prescription.
Sweet Sleep Studio is a leading medical sleep and insomnia treatment practice in the Kansas City area, and we recommend you call us today for recommendations regarding how to get a better night’s sleep. We can be reached at (913) 309-5963.