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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What causes interfered sleep?

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  • 1


    Dr Joanne Dennison

    Counselling Psychologist, Counsellor, Psychologist, Psychotherapist

    Dennison Psychology is a private psychology practice, with a location in South Yarra (Melbourne). Appointments are available on weekdays (appointments available from early mornings through … View Profile

    Interfered sleeping can present in different ways; these include having difficulty getting to sleep, and waking at various times throughout the night. Sleep is critical to our physical and emotional wellbeing, and affecting our ability to function as necessary during the day. With sleep serving such an imperative function, it is important to attempt to overcome any problems we have in relation to it.

    Numerous factors can contribute to/cause interfered sleeping. These include using (or withdrawing from) a substance (prescribed or illicit), narcolepsy, breathing-related sleep disorder (e.g. sleep apnea), circadian rhythm disorder (disruptions to our 24 hour body-clock), and parasomnia. Whilst you may wish to visit your doctor to determine the underlying cause of your sleep problems, it is important not to disregard the effect of your emotional wellbeing on sleep. Increased levels of stress, heightened anxiety and depressive episodes all have the potential to interfere with your quality of sleep. Taking steps to address these matters, as well as being aware of the potential for behavioural and environmental factors that precede you trying to sleep impact upon your quality of sleep. For example, you should avoid engaging in stimulating activities before going to bed, watching TV, using a computer, eating a meal or consuming caffeine. A psychologist can further assist with both of these (improving your emotional wellbeing, and your pre-bed routine).

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