Sleep disorders

Insomnia is the most commonly reported sleeping problem. It is characterized (after DSM V) by complaints of dissatisfaction with sleep quantity or quality, associated with one (or more) of the following symptoms:
Sleeping problems may cause emotional distress or impairment in social, occupational, educational and family areas of functioning. Sleep disorders also accompany mood disorders, anxiety disorders, somatic diseases and they are suffered by people experiencing chronic stress.
Short-term and temporary insomnia is typical for the early stage of the disorder. Symptoms may become permanent if we use incorrect coping strategies – we sleep during the day, use psychoactive substances, or go to sleep and get up at different times. When the period of suffering from insomnia is prolonged, we start to fear it (“I will not be able to fall asleep, I will not be able to function”). Our non-realistic beliefs about sleeping and catastrophic thoughts about the consequences of insomnia cause tension that inhibits the process of falling asleep and sustain maladaptive coping strategies. Patients fall into the “vicious cycle of insomnia”.
Sleep disorders are often treated with pharmacology. However, the cognitive-behavioural therapy of insomnia is also an effective method of treating the sleep disorder symptoms. The cognitive techniques applied at the therapy aim at changing the maladaptive beliefs and thoughts related to sleep, while the behavioural methods are related to improving the sleep quality (increasing activity during the day, sleep hygiene, relaxation techniques).

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