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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What causes Insomnia?

    I have a very stressful job which requires me to be altert all the time, i drink lots of energy drinks and coffee and have troubles sleeping at night. Would this cause my insomnia? What are the main factors which cause it?
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  • Dr Louise Shepherd

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    I am a clinical psychologist with 15 years experience working with all sorts of goals and issues. I love working with people, helping them to … View Profile

    There are possibly lots of causes of insomnia and I won't go into them all here. The things you mention though are highly likely to be contributing to any sleep issues you are having. 

    Caffeinated drinks can affect us hours after we take them and if you are drinking a lot of caffeine each day it will probably be a big part of the problem. It is often the case, don't you think, that we have a problem (such as beinng tired) and find a solution (caffeine) that may work well in the short term but not in the long term?!?! 

    It might be helpful also to look at how you approach the stressful job. Perhaps there are some changes, even small ones that may help with sleep - e.g. not using your computer in bed, and ideally not for an hour before going to bed, switching your phone off after a certain time at night. 

    Fresh air, exercise, time with friends may also help to make sure you have a bit of balance in your life. 

    I'm a huge fan of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) - which I know has a terrible name but some very sensible strategies for dealing with the inevitable stress that life brings. You can go to www.contextualpsychology.org or even Wikipedia if you want to learn more about ACT. 

    Or if you are interested to talk to a psychologist please check out our website at the Sydney ACT Centre. 

    Gook luck!

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