Counting Sheep—The Practical Side

There are literally dozens of sleep disorders listed in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. In addition, there are dozens more disorders in that same manual that impact sleep—such as anxiety, depression and grief—just to name a few. The list of sleep disorders Americans now face is huge, but these disorders often involve one or more of the following issues: trouble falling asleep, trouble staying asleep and early waking. Some common disorders include insomnia, hypersomnia, sleep-walking, nightmares, night terrors and bedwetting (children).

Sleep issues can be organic—meaning related to a medical condition, or just mental/emotional in nature. If you are currently experiencing any kind of sleep problem the first thing you should do is see a medical doctor. A medical doctor can rule out any medical condition that may be negatively impacting your sleep cycles. For example, health conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, HIV/AIDS, lupus, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and multiple sclerosis can all negatively affect sleep cycles. The second thing you should do if you are having trouble sleeping is develop a good sleep hygiene (bedtime) routine which I will speak more to in the personal blog on this topic.

While it sounds tempting as an easy fix to visit your medical doctor and ask for a sleeping pill, this is often only a temporary solution to an enduring problem. Sleeping medications (or medications that promote/induce sleep) can prove helpful in initially restoring restful nighttime patterns and they can also be helpful for those suffering with PTSD or other trauma-related issues. But, oftentimes there are other issues impacting our ability to truly rest that must be addressed if we are going to regularly experience the peace and quality sleep we so desire. Many of us would benefit from therapy and the knowledge and skills we can obtain there to rest well each night.

Therapy allows us the space we need to identify and process our feelings and concerns about what is literally keeping us up at night. Therapy also offers the opportunity to learn the skills we need to promote feelings of calm and positivity in our lives. These positive feelings coupled with hopefulness will over time naturally lead to the mindset needed to rest well each night.

If you cannot sleep, you are not alone. Make an appointment with a medical doctor to rule out any medical conditions. And then, call a trained and seasoned Orlando therapist who can help you sort out any issue that may be impacting your ability to experience the rest and peace you need to enjoy all life has to offer. Call Life Enhancement Counseling Services today at 407-443-8862 to make an appointment.


Yolanda Brailey