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We are currently living through one of the most challenging years in recent world history. The combination of economic distress, isolation, and the widespread loss of human life has naturally resulted in increased rates of mental illness across the board. However, it would be disingenuous to suggest that this trend is new. The truth is that organizations devoted to addressing mental illness in the United States have noted for several years that the rates of mental illness are continuously increasing. And we want to look at the link between sleep disorders and mental illness.

 

For the best cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia in Los Angeles, visit CBA. We provide treatment for a range of disorders, with high rates of success. When you visit our insomnia specialist in Beverly Hills, you can get back to a better quality of life.

Link between Sleep Disorders and Mental Illness

In 2018, Mental Health America found that 19% of American adults experienced mental illness that year. That is a 1.5 million person increase over the previous year. These same trends appear to replicate themselves among youth in the United States. Both are matched by increased rates of suicide ideation. Therefore, it is clear that mental illness is a prevalent and growing issue in the United States, one that we need to tackle to protect the health of the community.

The Chicken and the Egg

Previously, it was widely believed that mental health disorders were largely responsible for the fact that an astounding percentage of mental health patients also suffer from a sleep disorder. Continued research has clarified that perception, leading scientists to see the relationship as far more complex. Essentially, the link between sleep disorders and mental illness is a circular one, much like the proverbial chicken and the egg.

Researchers now realize that mental illness and sleep disorders are inextricably linked and often reinforce one another. This reinforcement may actually explain why mental health disorders can be so difficult to overcome. Lack of sleep makes it difficult to regulate our thoughts and emotions. Then the resulting struggle makes it more difficult to sleep. For many people, this is a serious problem that can make their struggle feel impossible. Fortunately, there are research-driven approaches that can help to relieve this burden.

Getting the Help You Need

Cognitive behavior therapy is a complex approach to treatment that works to help patients recognize harmful thoughts while developing coping mechanisms. This form of therapy can be paired with medication and additional counseling if appropriate. Still, your cognitive behavioral therapist’s primary aim will be to have you examine your own thoughts critically.

Analyzing your own anxieties and fears is a helpful way of undermining their connection to reality. Your therapist will help you isolate the thoughts that trigger your symptoms based on your mental illness’s nature. From there, you can discuss what validity those thoughts have, if any. By learning to recognize the thoughts and feelings that aggravate your mental illness, you can start deconstructing them to build a healthier relationship with yourself.

Applying Cognitive Behavior Therapy to Sleep Disorders

At Cognitive Behavior Associates, the staff understands that mental illness and sleep disorders go hand in hand. Their goal is to treat the whole person and that includes resolving sleep disorders that may make it harder for you to recover from your mental illness. Insomnia is the most common complaint, but there are several sleep disorders that commonly coexist with mental illness.

Working on Thoughts

For the most part, the general approach of cognitive behavior therapy can apply directly to patients suffering from insomnia. The CBA experts recognize that the harmful thoughts you have are often most clear as you lie awake in bed. However, there are some additional forms of treatment that your therapist may suggest in addition to your CBT treatment.

Programmable daylight lamps and blue light filtering lenses are some of the most common. These are useful because they limit the effect of external stimuli and maximize your natural circadian rhythm. Regardless of what approach you choose, CBT will give you everything you need to tackle your insomnia and your mental illness at the same time.

There is nothing quite like waking up refreshed after a good night’s rest. Unfortunately, about 35% of Americans regularly miss out on that opportunity. Through a combination of living in a high-stress society and practicing poor sleep hygiene, millions of Americans lay awake in bed every night hoping sleep will come to them. But treating insomnia without medication is not only possible, but highly effective.

As a result, an entire sub-category of the pharmaceutical industry now, exists to meet the widespread demand for sleep-inducing medications. Some are habit-forming, while others are easier to use without the risk of addiction. These medications are an excellent option for occasional use, perhaps after a particularly stressful day. None of them are intended for daily use over a prolonged period. So it is important to find a long-term solution.

We provide the best cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia Los Angeles has around.

Identifying Insomnia

Everyone has some restless nights, but there are specific parameters that we can use to identify chronic insomnia. Generally speaking, chronic insomnia occurs at least three days a week for at least three consecutive months. If the patient hasn’t had the opportunity to get adequate sleep due to a demanding job or substance abuse is involved, then it is possible that the insomnia is a symptom of lifestyle choices rather than existing as a condition itself. In these cases, the patient will need to address underlying factors first.

Treating Insomnia without Medication: Analyzing Your Sleep Hygiene

For those with stubborn insomnia, it may be beneficial to first examine your daily practices, including sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene refers to the regular practice of habits that promote reliable sleeping patterns. These include going to sleep at a predetermined hour every day of the week and waking up at the same time every day. Good sleep hygiene also includes avoiding electronics one hour before bed and avoiding caffeinated products after noon.

Of course, a fresh change will not have an immediate effect. If you have found holes in your sleep hygiene, you should do whatever you can to address them. It won’t happen overnight, so you should aim to make gradual changes to your routine. Adjusting your habits could take several weeks, and it may take several weeks more to take full effect. At six to eight weeks, if you’ve experienced no change, then you should consider a more targeted approach.

Using Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Sleep hygiene is highly personal, and it doesn’t work in the same way for everyone. For people with anxiety and depression, it can be exceptionally difficult to overcome insomnia. Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is a research-driven treatment that strives to help patients analyze their own thoughts and behaviors to better understand the nature of their insomnia.

In many ways cognitive behavior therapy is related to sleep hygiene but does more to target mental health complications that could be contributing to the patient’s sleeping experience. Those who specialize in cognitive behavior therapy for insomnia aim to help patients target the negative cognitions and behaviors that have developed around sleep due to prolonged frustration and sleep deprivation. Overall, this approach to therapy has proven highly effective. A full 100% of patients in multiple studies noted improved sleep, and 75% achieved a normal sleeping schedule, getting at least 7 hours of continuous sleep per night.

Making the Decision to Pursue Treatment

Sleep deprivation can have serious side effects with the potential to impair cognitive function and ability to handle mental or emotional stress. If you are experiencing the symptoms of chronic insomnia, then you should seriously consider receiving professional treatment. At Cognitive Behavior Associates, you may receive treatment in person or through telepsychotherapy. These options allow patients to choose how they would like to approach treatment and move towards their goals.