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What are sleep disorders?

Sleep disorders are characterised by a frequent inability to sleep properly, with sufferers often finding it difficult to fall/stay asleep and failing to feel rested the next day. The most common form of sleep disorder is insomnia. Whilst we can all experience periods of time when we don’t get as much sleep as we want/need, it is important to recognise when this is becoming an increasingly frequent problem that is having a detrimental effect on your ability to function on a daily basis. If this is the case, it may indicate that you have developed a sleep disorder.

At Priory Wellbeing Centre Dubai, our clinicians understand that regular and plentiful sleep is crucial to health and wellbeing. Prolonged periods of poor sleep quality can cause a whole host of serious consequences for your physical and psychological health, as well as having a detrimental effect on other areas of life including work and relationships.

What are the signs and symptoms of a sleep disorder?

Whilst each of us requires different amounts of sleep, research suggests that individuals who regularly sleep for less than 3.5 hours per night are likely to experience negative health consequences as a result of sleep deprivation. Some other signs that you may be suffering from a sleep disorder include:

  • Difficulty falling and staying asleep
  • Being awake for most of the night, despite wanting and trying to sleep
  • Waking up early in the morning and not being able to get back to sleep
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Daytime drowsiness
  • Struggling to complete day-to-day tasks due to lack of energy
  • Reduced productivity and performance at work
  • Poor concentration
  • Indecisiveness
  • Irritability and agitation

Specialist psychological treatment for sleep disorders

Our expert psychiatrists and psychologists at Priory Wellbeing Centre Dubai recognise that each individual experiences sleep problems in different ways. As such, we are dedicated to developing personalised treatment programmes which enable your unique challenges to be tackled in a way that fosters the best outcomes for you as an individual.

The first step in treatment usually consists of our highly qualified specialists teaching you simple behaviour and lifestyle changes that you can make, in order to improve your ability to achieve consistent, good quality sleep.

Our Dubai therapists also use cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) as a means of tackling the symptoms that are associated with sleep disorders, and addressing any underlying problems. CBT is widely used in the treatment of sleep disorders and works by challenging the unhealthy thought patterns that may be exacerbating your sleep disorder, before encouraging you to view situations in healthier ways. This psychological technique has been found to be effective in helping people to achieve a consistent sleep pattern and improve health and wellbeing.

What causes a sleep disorder to develop?

There are a number of potential factors that can increase the likelihood that an individual will develop a sleep disorder. These include:

  • Poor sleeping environment
  • Inconsistent sleep routine
  • Napping during the day
  • Shift work
  • Drinking too much caffeine, especially in the evening
  • Smoking cigarettes, especially in the evening
  • Stress and worry
  • Existing psychiatric problems (e.g. depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), generalised anxiety disorder (GAD))
  • Certain physical health conditions (e.g. respiratory conditions, chronic pain, arthritis)
  • Certain medications (e.g. steroid medication, medication for epilepsy and blood pressure, certain antidepressants)

For further information call today on: (+971) 4 245 3800 or submit an enquiry form in confidence. We will provide you with details on all our treatments and offer help on how to manage your mental health at a time that suits you.

Tanya Dharamshi, Counsellor

This page was clinically reviewed by Tanya Dharamshi (BSW, MSc Psych, Counsellor, DHCC, UAE) in March 2019, and is scheduled to be reviewed again in March 2021. Tanya brings 18+ years of counselling experience in trauma, crisis intervention, child abuse, substance addiction, attachment disorder, depression, anxiety, stress, bereavement, couples therapy, mood disorders, chronic illness and adjustment disorder. View Tanya's full profile here.