Most of us will experience normal sleep difficulties twice in our lives. In adolescence, many experience decreased drowsiness at typical bedtimes and once asleep struggle arousing when it is time to get up. Later as we enter our 50's and move into our later years, we begin to awaken very early in the morning without the ability to return to sleep. This often results in daytime drowsiness or falling asleep during the day and needing to go to bed earlier in the evening.
In addition to these normal sleep challenges, many experience more pronounced difficulties going to sleep and staying asleep. As is commonly known, this occurs among individuals with sleep disorders. However, many psychological conditions include sleep difficulties as part of their presentation. This would include anxiety, depression, PTSD, bipolar disorder, and others.
Many behavioral techniques can be helpful in reducing the frequency of sleep difficulties. In addition to behavioral techniques such as relaxation and mindfulnes, biofeedback, and neurofeedback may also be helpful.
Your physician may have already conducted assessments to identify causes of sleep disturbance. If you have not seen your physician, this would be encouraged. In addition, an interview, psychological testing, and a quantitative electro encephalogram may be useful in identifying possible causes of your unique situation.
The assessments conducted by your physician and our group, a plan can be developed to improve the sleep in your life. The plan would be intended to integrate with you medical plan. We may identify elements that can be used to improve sleep. These would include such things as sleep hygiene elements to add to your program, mindfulness and relaxation practices, heart rate variability training, and neurofeedback practice.
Once the planning stage is complete, psychotherapy, biofeedback, and neurofeedback may begin. Often this will begin with training in mindfulness and relaxation exercise. This is often followed by breath and heart rate training known as HRV. Based on your situation, neurofeedback may be implemented as an additional means of training you to place yourself in the optimal mental stance to induce sleep.