Sleep Therapy With Dr. Burman
Our physical and mental health depends on getting enough quality sleep in many ways. Health professionals like Dr. Burman can offer support for people with sleep-wake disorders through sleep therapy. Sleep therapy teaches patients how to improve the quality of their sleep, and it can address or manage the mental health aspects of sleep disorders.
How Therapy Addresses Sleep Disturbances
Some sleep disorders come from medical or dental conditions, while others have psychological roots. Anxiety or depression can cause sleep issues, and big upheavals in a person’s life can also make it hard to sleep. Sleep therapy may allow people to work through the cause and effects of sleep issues, depending on whether the cause is known.
Therapy for sleep-wake disorders generally focuses on:
- • Becoming more self-aware
- • Changing behaviors
- • Learning relaxation skills
- • Setting and achieving goals
Mental health issues may cause sleep problems. For example, PTSD may cause nightmares or insomnia. If a sleep disturbance is caused by a mental health issue, treating the underlying condition in therapy can help resolve it. You may be referred to Dr. Burman for a sleep disorder your mental health professional diagnosed or he might have discovered the signs through the course of providing dental care!
Types of Sleep Therapy
Some of the methods we use in sleep therapy include:
- • Keeping a sleep diary: a great way of identifying harmful sleep patterns and may pinpoint the triggers of disturbed sleep.
- • Sleep restriction therapy: restricts naps and early bedtimes, which may help the patient fall asleep at the right time and get quality sleep. This approach may be especially effective for insomnia.
- • Stimulus control instructions: examines a person’s sleep habits, aiming to uncover actions that are preventing good sleep.
- • Sleep hygiene education: a form of training often used after sleeping patterns are analyzed. Patients in treatment develop a personalized list of things they should and should not do before bed.
- • Relapse prevention: helps people develop methods to address concerns before they become overwhelming in an effort to head off future or recurrent sleep problems before they happen.
- • Phototherapy: the use of timed light exposure to reset internal body clocks for patients with non-24 hour sleep/wake disorder.
- • Dark therapy: the restriction of light in the evening (especially blue-green light from screens) to prevent delays to the circadian clock. This can help patients fall asleep earlier, and it is often combined with light therapy when it’s time to wake up.
- • Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I): attempts to change sleep habits and schedule by working on resolving misconceptions that may cause difficulty sleeping.
Tips for Improving Your Sleep Hygiene
There are several ways we can lessen the impact of a sleep disorder. Here are a few sleep hygiene tips to follow:
- • Exercise regularly, preferably in the morning.
- • Try meditation instead of taking naps.
- • Practice breathing exercises.
- • Avoid or limit caffeine and alcohol.
- • Take a warm shower or bath before bed.
- • Turn off screens at least an hour before bedtime.
- • Keep your bedroom cool and dark during the night, and avoid using your bed during the day.
- • Maintain a consistent sleep/wake schedule throughout the week.
Everyone’s sleep habits are different, so what works for someone else may not work for you. Pay close attention to which tips produce results for you. Dr. Burman can help.
Why Therapy Instead of Medication for Sleep Disorders?
It can be tempting to reach for a sleeping pill or other over-the-counter sleep aid when you’re desperate for sleep, but that won’t treat the underlying problem. It can even make the symptoms worse in the long term. Sleeping pills are best used sparingly and as a short-term solution, like for jetlag or when recovering from a medical procedure.
A study at Harvard Medical School found that CBT was more effective at treating chronic insomnia than prescription sleep medication. CBT produced the greatest changes in patients’ ability to fall asleep and stay asleep, and the benefits remained even a year after treatment ended. If you’re suffering from a sleep disorder, sleep therapy at Snoring and Sleep Apnea Therapy LLC may be able to relax your mind, change your outlook, improve your daytime habits, and set you up for a good night’s sleep.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can improve your sleep by changing your behavior before bedtime as well as changing the patterns of thinking that keep you from falling asleep. It also focuses on improving relaxation and changing lifestyle habits that impact your sleeping patterns. Since sleep disorders can be both caused by and trigger emotional health problems like anxiety, stress, and depression, sleep therapy is an effective way of treating the underlying problem rather than just the symptoms, helping you develop healthy sleeping patterns for life.