Our Services for Sleep Disorders

Use LetSleepHappen and Sydney Sleep Centre to first get information, start diarizing, and then get 1:1 help with:

  • Insomnia: difficulties in getting to sleep, staying asleep, and/or waking too early in the morning, with poor sleep quality, daytime tiredness, fatigue, irritability, impaired memory and concentration
  • sleep-wake cycles that are too delayed, too advanced or non-24 hr (eg shift work)
  • reducing or ceasing sleep medication
  • CPAP therapy anxiety and avoidance

Using strategies drawn from evidence-based Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Mindfulness, and Acceptance & Commitment Therapy principles, a Sydney Sleep Centre treatment can bring you measurable, substantial improvement in your sleep and daytime energy and activity levels:

 

Cognitive behavior Therapy (CBT)

CBT involves cognitive therapy, or strategies targeting faulty beliefs, worries, and expectations about sleep and daytime functioning that worsen insomnia; and behavior therapy, or behavior change strategies that target the unhelpful insomnia habits that you’ve unintentionally become conditioned to:

Best-practice cognitive behavior therapy strategies include:

Stimulus control therapy: behavior change to reassociate the bed environment with sleep and to re-establish a consistent sleep-wake cycle:  1) go to bed when sleepy, 2) get out of bed after 20 minutes when unable to sleep, 3) use the bed only for sleep (no TV, electronic devices), 4) get out of bed at the same time every morning, and 5) don’t nap during the day (to build greater pressure to sleep over the day).

Sleep restriction therapy: curtailing time in bed to the actual hours of sleep, to increase sleep efficiency (ie getting the most sleep out of your time in bed).

Relaxation training: exercises to reduce muscle tension, central nervous system activation and racing thoughts which can get in the way of sleep.

Sleep hygiene education:  guidelines about lifestyle change (eg diet, exercise, alcohol/substance use) and bed environment change (light, noise, temperature) that can help improve sleep.  Also information about what’s normal in sleep, and how sleep changes with age.

Sleep diary: the act of completing a sleep diary not only promises better understanding of your sleeping patterns, but in itself motivates change in behaviours leading to better sleep, in the same way that completing a food diary motivates change in eating habits.  It yields much (often reassuring)  information that leads to an individual sleep plan targeting your insomnia causes. You wont have to do it forever – in the long term we’d like you to ignore your sleep like good sleepers do – but just long enough to learn new skills and see them working.  Click here for the sleep diary.

 

Mindfulness

Mindfulness therapy is about learning to be aware of, and pay attention to, unfolding experience in the present moment.  It’s about purposefully experiencing and observing your thoughts, feelings and sensations with curiosity, without reacting to them or trying to avoid or suppress them.  Mindfulness therapy is used in managing worry and rumination cycles and hypervigilance that condition an association between bed and waking.

 

Acceptance & Commitment therapy

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) focuses on mindfulness, acceptance and values, helping promote acceptance of your unfolding experience, even unpleasant or distressing thoughts, feelings and sensations, while moving towards meaningful goals.

The primary goal of ACT is to live a meaningful and fulfilling life, while accepting the unavoidable pain that comes with it. This happens when mindfulness is used to promote acceptance of one’s experience,  detached observing and describing of thoughts without being “fused” with them, being in contact with the present moment; and reviewing one’s core values in life, then using these to take committed action towards meaningful goals that align with core values. 

Insomnia symptom-reduction is not an immediate goal of ACT because attempts to control and get rid of insomnia actually worsen distress and insomnia.  However, research evidence shows that the unexpected side-effect of acceptance practice is simultaneous insomnia reduction.

These treatment strategies work not only for sleep problems, but for associated anxiety and low mood that accompany insomnia and sleep-wake disorders.

Eligible sleep, mood and anxiety treatment clients can receive a rebate from their Health fund, or from Medicare under the Better Access Scheme (up to 10 individual sessions in a calendar year, under a Mental Health Care Plan, and with a referral letter, from your GP or psychiatrist).

Please contact Sydney Sleep Centre on (02) 9252 6144 for information on fees and Medicare requirements.

 

Psychologist talks on Insomnia & Sleep-Wake Disorders, and coping with Sleep Medication cessation

Clinical psychologist Rosemary Clancy is available to present talks to small or large groups on insomnia and sleep-wake disorders, and psychological coping in reducing sleep medications.  These seminars aim to help participants understand:

  • sleep structure and processes, including the circadian and homeostatic drives governing sleep,
  • the biological and psychological interactions beneath insomnia,  circadian sleep-wake disorders, and dependence on prescription medications;
  • psychological considerations in reducing or stopping prescription medications in pressured competitive sports environments;
  • best-practice, evidence-based treatments for sleep disorders.

 

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