Help for Sleep Problems

The Royal College of Psychiatrists suggest that the amount of sleep we need depends on our age. Adults generally need around 8 hours of sleep a night.

Older people often have one period of deep sleep during the night, usually in the first four hours. We also dream less as we get older.

There is much that is unknown about sleep. When we are awake we all inhabit a common world, but when we sleep we are in a world of our own, a world of dreams, images and varying states of unconsciousness.

Sleep is more important than you might think

Through developments in neuroscience, we are beginning to understand what happens in the brain while we sleep. We now know there is an intimate relationship between sleep and psychological functioning. Sleep benefits our mood, memory and concentration.

Not only does sleep affect mood, but mood and mental states can also affect sleep. Worry, anxiety, fear, depression and relationship issues can contribute to existing sleep problems, creating a self-perpetuating cycle of sleeplessness and distress.

Sleep is fundamental to our quality of life, but for many people healthy sleep is not always easy to achieve. Sometimes the underlying cause of sleep-related problems is obvious, while at other times the cause of these problems is less understood

Sleep also plays an important role in our immune and nervous systems. Our immune systems weaken in response to inadequate sleep, making us more susceptible to infections like colds or skin problems. Symptoms of sleeplessness reflected in our nervous system include feeling anxious or irritable and an increased propensity for stress.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists emphasises the importance of both the quantity and quality of sleep we receive. We need a certain amount of undisturbed, deep sleep to perform at our best. Poor quality sleep can leave us feeling as weary and tired as if we hadn’t slept at all.

Counselling can be helpful for those with sleep problems

People often view sleep as a luxury and sleep is one of the first things to go when we feel pressed for time. It’s easy to overlook the potential long-term health consequences of insufficient sleep, and the impact that inadequate sleep can have on one’s well-being.

Worry, anxiety, fear, guilt, depression and relationship issues can all contribute to ongoing sleep problems. So it is unsurprising that many clients coming to therapy because of problems in their waking lives also suffer from sleep issues. An experienced psychotherapist can help determine underlying causes of sleep-related problems and help restore healthy sleep patterns. This may involve improving ‘sleep hygiene’, such as bedtime routines, as well as addressing the issues that are causing stress in the client’s life.

 

Getting started

Time will be spent at your first appointment discussing with your therapist the specific problems you have when sleeping. Everyone’s sleep problems are different and your therapist will help determine the underlying causes of your sleep issues. This initial consultation will last about an hour.

Following this first appointment, you will have an opportunity to continue with ongoing appointments to address and alleviate your sleep issues.

What do I talk about in counselling?

One of the most common worries I hear expressed by people starting counselling is that they won’t know what to talk about. Some people think their problems aren’t significant enough. Others fear they have too much to say, that they might overwhelm the therapist…

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Too much sleep may be as harmful as too little

The study examined 9,000 English people over one month and found that those aged 50-64 who slept more than eight hours a night had poor memory and decision-making abilities similar to those who slept less than six hours per night. The optimal range of sleep for adults in this age range…

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Client Reviews

One Therapy London

Ameet Magan

Ameet is from London and holds an MSc in Integrative Psychotherapy He has more than a decade’s experience of working in a one-to-one capacity with clients He has also trained in groupwork and has worked since 2016 as a group psychotherapist and clinical practitioner with the NHS in East London Ameet is a warm, grounded and reflective person He works with compassion...

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Therapist Amrita Athwal
Amrita Athwal

Amrita works with adults in an integrative way, drawing on various therapeutic approaches tailored to meet the needs of each client She provides a safe space to help clients better understand themselves She offers short term and long term therapy Amrita has experience of working with clients on issues such as trauma, addiction, depression, anxiety, relationship...

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Therapist Annie Curran-White
Annie Curran-White

With a Masters degree in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy, Annie offers both short and long term, open-ended therapy to individuals Her experience includes depression, stress and anxiety, bereavement, loss, personal development and trauma Annie has additional, specialist training working with survivors of rape, and adult and childhood sexual...

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Therapist Antonella Bonetti
Antonella Bonetti

Antonella is a psychodynamic therapist offering short- and long-term therapy to adults She also sees couples facing issues within their relationship Since obtaining her Master’s degree in Psychodynamic Therapy & Counselling, Antonella has worked in different organisational settings (charities, NHS and university counselling services) helping people from diverse...

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Kensington

Therapist Ava Kinsey
Ava Kinsey

Ava is a qualified psychodynamic psychotherapist and counsellor She works with the NHS both as an adult psychotherapist at a complex trauma unit, and as a perinatal psychotherapist working with mothers and their infants and toddlers Before that, she worked as a psychotherapist in secondary care at the NHS, treating clients who experienced early relational/sexual trauma or...

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Therapist Barbara Beyaz
Barbara Beyaz

Barbara brings a warm, non-judgmental, and accepting attitude to her work with clients As an integrative Psychotherapist, she draws from a range of theoretical perspectives which allows her to tailor therapy to the needs of the client Barbara thinks that healing and individual growth happen when difficulties in living are explored with empathy, and the client's unique...

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Therapist Barbara Perini
Barbara Perini

Barbara is an accredited member of BACP, holding an MSc in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and adhering to the BACP ethical framework Her approach is open-ended, offering both short-term and long-term therapy Barbara has also trained in Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy (DIT), a short-term (16 sessions), semi-structured individual therapy developed for mood...

Oxford Circus

Therapist Ben Brackenbury
Ben Brackenbury

Ben believes that at times we all struggle with the challenges life has to offer and therapy provides a safe, confidential, non-judgemental space to explore this Ben works with individuals to make sense of who they are and how they respond to the world today, and to explore new ways of being Ben is also sensitive to how difficult it might be for a client to talk to a...

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Therapist Ben Marks
Ben Marks

Ben is an experienced psychotherapist who has helped many people through difficult times in their lives He works with clients with a wide range of personal issues around depression, anxiety, bereavement, trauma, abuse, loneliness, stresses within the workplace, low self esteem, relationship and sexual problems including performance anxiety, erectile dysfunction and...

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Therapist Catherine Hammett
Catherine Hammett

Catherine offers a safe, confidential space for clients bringing a wide range of issues to therapy  These include anxiety, low self-esteem, relationship difficulties, anger and work-related stress  Catherine also supports clients experiencing depression, bereavement and life transitions  Among her specialist interests are post-traumatic growth and working with adult...

Oxford Circus