Have you got any sleep disorders? Do they affect your day to day life? Here is some useful information you will find helpful.

 

What are Sleep Disorders?

Most of us have experienced trouble sleeping at one time or another. This is normal and usually temporary, due to stress or other outside factors. But if sleep problems are a regular occurrence and interfere with your daily life, you may be suffering from a sleep disorder. Sleep disorders cause more than just sleepiness. The lack of quality sleep can have a negative impact on your energy, emotional balance, and health. The good news? You don’t have to live with sleeping problems.

Unfortunately, even minimal sleep loss can take a toll on your mood, energy, efficiency, and ability to handle stress. Ignoring sleep problems and disorders can lead to poor health, weight gain, accidents, impaired job performance, and relationship strain. If you want to feel your best, stay healthy, and perform up to your potential, sleep is a necessity, not a luxury.

It’s not normal to feel sleepy during the day, to have problems getting to sleep at night, or to wake up feeling exhausted. But even if you’ve struggled with sleep problems for so long that it seems normal, you can still learn to sleep better.

Do you…

  • feel irritable or sleepy during the day?
  • have difficulty staying awake when sitting still, watching television or reading?
  • fall asleep or feel very tired while driving?
  • have difficulty concentrating?
  • often get told by others that you look tired?
  • react slowly?the-aoc-arts-therapies-groups-7
  • have trouble controlling your emotions?
  • feel like you have to take a nap almost every day?
  • require caffeinated beverages to keep yourself going?

If you answered “yes” to any of the previous questions, you may have a sleep disorder.

Insomnia, the inability to get to sleep or sleep well at night, is an all-too common sleeping problem—in fact, it’s the most common sleep complaint. Insomnia can be caused by a wide variety of things including stress, jet lag, a health condition, the medications you take, or even the amount of coffee you drink. Insomnia can also be caused by other sleep disorders or mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression.

Common symptoms of insomnia are;

  • Difficulty falling asleep at night or getting back to sleep after waking during the night
  • Waking up frequently during the night
  • Your sleep feels light, fragmented, or unrefreshing
  • You need to take something (sleeping pills, nightcap, supplements) in order to get to sleep
  • Sleepiness and low energy during the day

Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorders

We all have an internal biological clock that regulates our 24-hour sleep-wake cycle, also known as our circadian rhythms. Light is the primary cue that influences circadian rhythms. When the sun comes up in the morning, the brain tells the body that it’s time to wake up. At night, when there is less light, your brain triggers the release of melatonin, a hormone that makes you sleepy.

When your circadian rhythms are disrupted or thrown off, you may feel groggy, disoriented, and sleepy at inconvenient times. Circadian rhythms have been linked to a variety or sleeping problems and sleep disorders, including insomnia, jet lag, and shift work sleep difficulties. Abnormal circadian rhythms have also been implicated in depression, bipolar disorder, and seasonal affective disorder (the winter blues).

Shift Work Sleeping Problems

Shift work sleep disorder occurs when your work schedule and your biological clock are out of sync. In our 24-hour society, many workers have to work night shifts, early morning shifts, or rotating shifts. These schedules force you to work when your body is telling you to go to sleep, and sleep when your body is signalling you to wake.

While some people adjust better than others to the demands of shift work, most shift workers get less quality sleep than their daytime counterparts. As a result of sleep deprivation, many shift workers struggle with sleepiness and mental lethargy on the job. This cuts into their productivity and puts them at risk of injury.

Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder

Delayed sleep phase disorder is a condition where your 24-hour cycle of sleep and wakefulness—your biological clock—is significantly delayed. As a result, you go to sleep and wake up much later than other people. For example, you may not get sleepy until 4 a.m., at which time you go to bed and sleep soundly until noon, or at least you would if your daytime responsibilities didn’t interfere. Delayed sleep phase disorder makes it difficult for you to keep normal hours—to make it to morning classes, get the kids to school on time, or keep a 9-to-5 job.

It’s important to note that this sleeping problem is more than just a preference for staying up late or being a night owl.

  • People with delayed sleep phase disorder are unable to get to sleep earlier than 2 to 6 a.m. no matter how hard they try. They struggle to go to sleep and get up at socially acceptable times.
  • When allowed to keep their own hours (such as during a school break or holiday), they fall into a regular sleep schedule.
  • Delayed sleep phase disorder is most common in teenagers, and many teens will eventually grow out of it.
  • For those who continue to struggle with a biological clock that is out of sync, treatments such as light therapy and chronotherapy can help. To learn more, schedule an appointment with a sleep doctor or local sleep clinic.

Jet Lag Sleeping Problems

Jet lag is a temporary disruption in circadian rhythms that occurs when you travel across time zones. Symptoms include daytime sleepiness, fatigue, headache, stomach problems, and insomnia. The symptoms typically appear within a day or two after flying across two or more time zones. The longer the flight, the more pronounced the symptoms. The direction of flight also makes a difference. Flying east tends to cause worse jet lag than flying west.

In general, it usually takes one day per time zone crossed to adjust to the local time. So if you flew from Los Angeles to New York, crossing three time zones, your jet lag should be gone within three days. However, jet lag can be worse if you:

  • lost sleep during travel
  • are under a lot of stress
  • drink too much alcohol or caffeine
  • didn’t move around enough during your flight

 Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a common (and treatable) sleep disorder in which your breathing temporarily stops during sleep due to the blockage of the upper airways. These pauses in breathing interrupt your sleep, leading to many awakenings each hour. While most people with sleep apnea don’t remember these awakenings, they might feel exhausted during the day, irritable and depressed, or see a decrease in productivity. Sleep apnea is a serious and potentially life-threatening sleep disorder, so it’s wise to see a doctor right away if suspect that you or a loved one may be suffering from it.

Symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Loud, chronic snoring
  • Frequent pauses in breathingduring sleep
  • Gasping, snorting, or chokingduring sleep
  • Feeling exhaustedafter waking and sleepy during the day, no matter how much time you spent in bed
  • Waking up with shortness of breath, chest pains, headaches, nasal congestion, or a dry throat

 

Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a sleep disorder that causes an almost irresistible urge to move your legs (or arms). The urge to move occurs when you’re resting or lying down and is usually due to uncomfortable, tingly, aching, or creeping sensations.

Common signs and symptoms of restless legs syndrome include:

  • Uncomfortable sensations deep within the legs, accompanied by a strong urge to move them
  • The leg sensations are triggered by rest and get worse at night
  • The uncomfortable sensations temporarily get better when you move, stretch, or massage your legs
  • Repetitive cramping or jerking of the legs during sleep

 Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder that involves excessive, uncontrollable daytime sleepiness. It is caused by a dysfunction of the brain mechanism that controls sleeping and waking. If you have narcolepsy, you may have “sleep attacks” while in the middle of talking, working, or even driving.

Common signs and symptoms of narcolepsy include:

  • Seeing or hearing things when you’re drowsy or starting to dream before you’re fully asleep
  • Suddenly feeling weak or losing control of your muscles when you’re laughing, angry, or experiencing other strong emotions
  • Dreaming right away after going to sleep or having intense dreams
  • Feeling paralyzed and unable to move when you’re waking up or dozing off

Who Does It Effect?

Sleep disorders can affect any person at any stage in their life. It does not matter what gender, ethnicity or religion you are, we can all suffer from sleeping disorders. There are over 70 different types of sleeping disorders so it is highly likely you will experience one but do not worry most are easily managed. Insomnia being the most common type of sleeping disorder mainly effects women and the elderly.

It is possible for infants to also suffer from sleeping disorders. We all need sleep but some need more than others.

Infants usually sleep around most of the day (16 hours) whereas teenagers only sleep around 9 hours. Adults usually need around 6-7 hours sleep a day.

Facts & Statistics

  • About 50 percent of adults over the age of 65 have some type of sleep disorder.
  • According to the ‘Great British Sleep Survey’ 67% of the UK with sleeping disorders say they are kept awake by bodily discomfort.
  • It also suggests that the most persistent thought on their minds is – what happened today? And what I’ve got on tomorrow.
  • Poor sleepers are 7 times more likely to feel helpless
  • Poor sleepers are 5 times more likely to feel alone
  • Poor sleepers are 3 times more likely to struggle to concentrate
  • Poor sleepers are twice as likely to suffer from fatigue
  • Poor sleepers are twice as likely to have relationship problems
  • Poor sleepers are twice as likely to suffer from low moods
  • Poor sleepers are twice as likely to struggle to be productive
  • Those in Scotland and London are reported to have the best sleep across the UK
  • The West Midlands are said to sleep the worst
  • Women sleep worse than men on average
  • Sleep quality decreases with age as Over 60’s sleep the worst compared to 21-30 year olds sleeping the best

The above statistics were shared from – https://www.sleepio.com/2012report/

 

Examples of People with Sleep Disorders

 

Sleeping Beauty”Suzanne Reagan’s Story

 

 

“Significant Stress”Beti Maxey’s Story

 

 

“Strange Night Time Behaviours”William Spells’ Story

 

 

“Extreme Fatigue”Andrew Hudak’s Story

 

 

“Sleep Apnea in Infants”Benjamin Nagle’s Story

 

All of the above sleeping disorders stories were shared from;

http://my.clevelandclinic.org/services/neurological_institute/sleep-disorders-center/patient-education/patient-stories

www-theaoc-org-uk_dramatherapy_playtherapy_1

How Can it be Treated?

The AOC can help you if you have a sleep disorder. We are HCPC (Health & Care Professions Council) registered and also members of BACP (The British Association of Dramatherapists). We have a team of highly skilled, professional counsellors and associate therapists to help you through with the use of creative art therapies.

 

Creative art therapies involve using arts in a therapeutic environment with a trained therapist. You do not need to have any artistic skill or previous experience of dance, drama, music or visual art to find arts therapies helpful. The aim isn’t to produce a great work of art, but to use what you create to understand yourself better. In arts therapy, your therapist helps you to create something — such as a piece of music, a drawing, a play or a dance routine — as a way of expressing your feelings, often without using words.

 

Creative art therapies can be offered in group sessions, one-to-one or with family therapy depending on your own preference. We will match you to our best suited therapist/counsellor to help you with any of your issues. All our counselling is strictly confidential and nothing said in the therapy space will leave the room.

 

There are many different modalities in which creative arts can be offered to you ranging from the following;

Drama/Puppetry
Offers profound reflection on who we are and the roles we play. These art forms are also centrally concerned with how people change people, for better or worse, and the sort of connections they make with each other, e.g. superficial, conflictual, brutal, deadened or deeply enriching. Drama and puppetry can also offer vital insights into ‘situation’: how past situations are still colouring those in the present. Working with puppets is ideal for circumventing a reluctance to speak about feelings.

Sculpture/Clay
Sculpture offers a person the power to speak through touch. Its power lies more in the emotional resonance of substance. Sculpture invites a sensual engagement with the world. Clay expresses qualities and forms of feeling, directly, plainly, free of the clutter of any associations of the everyday.

Poetry
Literal words can misrepresent, underplay, hide rather than reveal and frequently offering only approximations to any recalled experience. In poetry as a multi-sensorial form, ‘amplifies the music of what happens’ (Seamus Heaney). ‘A poetic basis of mind’ (Hillman) can lead to a far more profound experience of life.

Sandplay
Clients choose from a whole world of miniature people, animals and buildings and arrange them in the controlled space of the ‘theatre of the sandbox’. This theatre then offers a profound overview of important life issues. Once feelings are organised and externalised in sandplay, they can be contemplated from a distance, and then assimilated.

Music
The dynamic forms in music are recognisable as vital forms of felt life: the rises and falls, the surges and flooding’s, the tensions and intensities, the changes in tempo, the dissonances, harmonies and resolutions. We know these forms intimately in our emotional experiencing. Music can convey the full qualitative and energetic aspects of an important relationship, atmosphere crucial event, or ongoing situation.

Bodywork/Movement
Forms encapture the complex inter-relations between time, weight, space, flow. We know these forms intimately in our emotional experiencing, so much so that both movement and still pose can provoke all manner of resonance. It is also possible to work with what the body is already communicating symbolically, whether through posture, gesture and gait, or through illness and injury. Movement is integral to the very process of change.

 

http://artspsychotherapy.org/iate-training/arts-psychotherapy-courses?gclid=CI-hrYfz280CFTUz0wodvl8Oag

 

If you would like to receive counselling from The AOC please fill out on of our online referral forms and send to support@theaoc.org.uk You will have a choice of 3 different types of referral forms;

  1. For individuals or couples
  2. Family referral form
  3. Group referral form

Please select the referral form most suited to you i.e. if you would like group therapy, fill out the group referral form.

Simply click the following link to find out more information and complete one of our referral forms:

https://www.theaoc.org.uk/about-the-arts-of-change/self-referral-therapy-forms/

We provide our clients with high-quality, evidence based expertise in the form of personal therapy and counselling. To help anyone suffering with any type of eating disorder.

Here is an example of a creative art therapy from The AOC in more detail;

Dramatherapy

Dramatherapy is a form of psychological therapy/psychotherapy in which all of the performance arts are utilised within the therapeutic relationship. Dramatherapy addresses a wide range of personal and emotional difficulties. Clients who are referred to a dramatherapist do not need to have previous experience or skill in acting, theatre or drama. Dramatherapists are trained to enable clients to find the most suitable medium for them to engage in group or individual therapy to address and resolve, or make troubling issues more bearable. Dramatherapists work in a wide variety of settings with people of all ages:

  • in schools
  • in mental health
  • in general health and social care settings
  • in prisons
  • in hospices
  • in the voluntary sector
  • in private practice

Dramatherapists are both artists and clinicians and draw on their trainings in theatre, drama and therapy to create methods to engage clients in effecting psychological, emotional and social changes.  The therapy gives equal validity to body and mind within the dramatic context; stories, myths, play-texts, puppetry, masks and improvisation are examples of the range of artistic interventions a dramatherapist may employ.  These will enable the client to explore difficult and painful life experiences through a creative-expressive approach. Dramatherapists are trained in both psychological and arts-specific assessment and evaluation techniques. They are committed to generating practice-based evidence and deliver sound evidence-based practice.

The British Association of Dramatherapists (BADth)

 

We can also offer our clients integrative counselling;

Integrative Counselling

Integrative therapy, or integrative counselling is a combined approach to psychotherapy that brings together different elements of specific therapies. Integrative therapists take the view that there is no single approach that can treat each client in all situations. Each person needs to be considered as a whole and counselling techniques must be tailored to their individual needs and personal circumstances. 

Integrative counselling maintains the idea that there are many ways in which human psychology can be explored and understood – no one theory holds the answer. All theories are considered to have value, even if their foundational principles contradict each other – hence the need to integrate them. 

The integrative approach also refers to the infusion of a person’s personality and needs – integrating the affective, behavioural, cognitive, and physiological systems within one person, as well as addressing social and spiritual aspects. Essentially, integrative counsellors are not only concerned with what works, but why it works – tailoring therapy to their clients and not the client to the therapy.

Top Health Tips

  1. Keep a Sleep Diary – Note down what time you got up, total hours of sleep, hours awake and what you did, foods and drinks consumed before bed, your feelings and moods during the time of interrupted sleep and any drugs or medication taken.
  2. Keep a Schedule – Go to sleep and get up at the same time each day including the weekends.
  3. Set aside enough time for sleep – Most people need 7-8 hours sleep in order to feel good and productive.
  4. Make sure your bedroom is dark, cool and quiet – Turn off all electricals, use heavy curtains or shades to block out light or try using a sleep mask.
  5. Turn off your phone, TV, Tablets etc – Do this a few hours before you go to sleep. The lights from these products can stimulate the brain and interfere with your bodies internal clock.
  6. Contact us – The AOC can help your overcome and put a stop to the sexual abuse you may be experiencing/experienced. Call or email us: 07568 568131 / support@theaoc.org.uk