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Trouble sleeping? Some help for insomnia may be here for you!

By Carlo Battiata, work experience student, & Dr Laura Keyes

Do you have any trouble sleeping?


Getting a good night sleep is vital for the mind and body to recharge, in order to have a fresh start in the morning. One of the common causes is for trouble sleeping is Insomnia. This is defined as the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep long enough to wake up feeling rested.


What are the most common causes of insomnia?

  • Stress

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Nicotine and Caffeine

  • Recreational drugs

  • Shift work

What are the symptoms of insomnia?

To better understand what insomnia is, and how to find a treatment suitable to you, it is important to look out for the symptoms, and these may include:

  • Difficulties concentrating due to tiredness

  • Feeling irritable

  • Felling tired after waking up

  • Wake up many times during the night

  • Find it hard to fall sleep, or stay asleep

Short-term insomnia is defined as insomnia that lasts for less than three months.

Long-term insomnia is defined as insomnia that persists for three months or more. (Source: NHS)


If you are unsure on whether the above mentioned are the symptoms, the NHS offer a “Sleep self-assessment” that can help better understand this:


A few tips to consider that can aid you in falling asleep:

  • Have a set time to go to bed and stick to it

  • Dedicate time to a routine in the evenings that winds you down for sleep

  • Avoid alcohol or eating too close to your bedtime as t can interfere with sleep

  • Use thick drapes, shades, or an eye mask late at night to block out light and keep to normal bed and wake-up schedules

  • Avoid watching TV or using mobile devices in the bedroom (or at most use the reduced lighting function)

  • Read a book to relax your mind/body

  • Listen to calming music such as sleep aid music or white noise

  • Use earplugs if you are someone who is often woken up by noise

  • Weighted blankets can be very relaxing for some people, as well as aromatherapy

Self-help resources:


If you have tried the above ideas and still have trouble sleeping, you may ask your local pharmacist for some over the counter natural remedies, such as: valerian or lavender to aid falling asleep. Alternatively speak to your GP, which may be able to prescribe you a more suitable treatment such as melatonin or other short terms sleep aids.


Psychological support:

A treatment that is very often used for Insomnia is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), which breaks difficulties down into smaller ones in order to assist you in dealing with them in a more constructive manner.


Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) can also be very helpful, which teaches you how to be attentive of your thoughts and feelings so that you may deal with them in a way that minimises their impact and influence on you.


We offer both CBT and ACT to support with insomnia within our team, so if you would like to speak to us about this or book in for a first session do get in touch! admin@drlaurakeyes.com

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