Thanks to COVID, 2020 was a year like no other. For a lot of 2021 is a year like no other as well (except perhaps, like 2020). The lockdowns and stay-at-home rules changed so much for so many people. That changed a lot of things in our own personal lives. One of them was our sleep. Working from home meant no travel time so we might have started going to bed later, knowing we didn’t have to get up so early to prepare and travel. Now, returning to the workplace means going back to the previous patterns and that can be a hard thing to do.
People are finding their sleep routines are so out of kilter, they are finding it hard to get to sleep or stay asleep. Just going to bed and trying to does not work for many of us. Not being able to or stay asleep can be a sign of poor ‘sleep hygiene.’ Find that time to stop whatever you are doing to get ready for bed. Cut back on caffeine, especially at night. Start limiting screen time on your computer and media devices. Making your room dark, quiet and comfortable. These are helpful things for good sleep hygiene.
Some of us don’t get to sleep as easily as others. Some of us have interrupted sleep and long periods of wakefulness. Sleep doesn’t come easily to some people too. In fact, trying to do all the things that can make us sleep has a reverse effect. Specialists note that sleep responds negatively to effort — the more you try to sleep the harder it becomes. Losing that nightly battle to get to sleep can cause negative thoughts about having insomnia and can cause problems like anxiety and depression.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
One of the best treatments for anxiety-fuelled sleeplessness is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT. This type of therapy helps by changing the negative thought patterns that cause certain behaviours. CBT can help change the way we think about sleep by identifying the beliefs we develop about our inability to get to sleep or stay asleep.
Sleeping is just one of the ways therapy can help. Poor sleep can also be part of another health condition. But it is curable with treatments like CBT.