How to Improve Sleep Quality After a Sleep Therapy Session

If you have a sleep disorder, such as insomnia, you may be facing obstacles in getting a good night's rest. One way to help improve your sleep is to start with your feet and tense your muscles as hard as you can. Count to 10 and then relax, and repeat this process for each muscle group in your body until you reach the top of your head. Improving sleep can have a positive effect on patient adherence to treatment.

Studies have shown that better sleep can influence the success of psychosocial interventions, as well as processes related to initial learning and the subsequent consolidation of treatment information. Sleeping pills are medications prescribed by a doctor to help with nighttime symptoms of insomnia. Recent studies have found that certain sleep medications can be beneficial if taken every night for several months, with few side effects. Sleeping pills can be especially helpful when insomnia is caused by a specific situation, such as an illness, a trip, or a change in environment.

They are also used when insomnia is more chronic, sometimes in combination with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved certain medications for the treatment of insomnia, such as Ambien, Lunesta and Silenor. Restricted sleep limits time spent in bed to increase the desire to sleep and temporarily increase daytime fatigue. Experienced CBT-I professionals can be found through professional organizations such as the Society for Behavioral Sleep Medicine and the American Board of Sleep Medicine.

Common thoughts and beliefs that may be addressed during treatment include anxiety about past experiences of insomnia, unrealistic expectations about the duration and quality of sleep, and concern about daytime fatigue or other consequences of lack of sleep. Stimulants like caffeine, nicotine and sugary foods should be avoided before bedtime, while alcohol can make you sleepy but interferes with sleep quality and can worsen sleep disorder symptoms. A therapist can perform a detailed evaluation to determine why your sleep is being affected and use multiple treatment techniques to help improve it. Check how your sleep habits and environment are up to par and evaluate how adjusting behavior can improve sleep quality.

Sleep restriction begins by calculating the total time spent sleeping in a typical night using a sleep diary. Working with an online therapist can help you avoid the expense and hassle of having to meet in person, and for many people with sleep problems, it can be just as effective as in-person therapy. This relaxing sleep meditation helps you relax at bedtime, release tension, and ease the transition to sleep. Behavioral therapy teaches you to avoid behaviors that keep you awake at night and replace them with better sleep habits. Tasks between sessions can include keeping a sleep diary, practicing how to question automatic thoughts or beliefs when they arise, and improving sleep hygiene practices.

If you have trouble sleeping, cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBTi) can help you improve the quality of your sleep. Cognitive therapy teaches you to recognize and change the negative beliefs and thoughts (cognitions) that contribute to your sleep problems. Instead of immediately reducing the time they spend in bed to the number of hours they sleep in a normal night, the time they spend in bed is gradually reduced until it gets pretty close to the time they actually spend sleeping. Thoughts and feelings related to sleep are examined and tested to see if they are accurate, while behaviors are examined to determine if they favor sleep.