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Unread December 28th, 2004, 10:05 PM
James Pretzer James Pretzer is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 283
Default Re: CBT for Insomnia

Yes, very interesting. I agree with the preceeding comments, especially the importance of appropriate treatment for her thyroid problem.

One thought is that when she asserts that she is not anxious and that she is not worrying during the periods when she is having difficulty falling asleep, this does not necessarily prove that anxiety and/or worry is not part of the problem. Not all individuals are skilled at recognizing and reporting their thoughts and feelings and not all individuals are willing to acknowledge all of their thoughts and feelings.

It certainly is possible to have insomnia for reasons other than anxiety. Have you asked about caffeine consumption or medication that can produce insomnia as a side effect? You haven't mentioned if she is having trouble falling asleep, trouble staying asleep, or trouble with early-morning waking. My experience is that difficulty falling asleep is often due to anxiety but also can be due to too much caffeine, to an irregular sleep schedule, to not allowing time to "wind-down" before sleep, or even can be due to anger at one's spouse. Waking during the night often is due to anxiety but also can be due to physical discomfort, nightmares, or concerns that areon the person's mind. Early-morning waking can be due to depression rather than anxiety or can be due to thoughts about all that needs to be done in the coming day.

It could be quite useful to have her write down her thoughts and feelings (1) as bedtime approaches, (2) when she first goes to bed, and (3) when she realizes that time has passed and she is not falling asleep.

Given her long-standing insomnia, it wouldn't be surprising if she has anticipatory cognitions ("Will I be able to get to sleep?") as bedtime approaches. Given the stressors that she is facing, it wouldn't be surprising if some of those issues come to mind as she is lying in bed (especially if she tries not to think about them during the day or tries not to be uspet by them). Once she notices that she is again having difficulty falling asleep, it wouldn't be surprising if she has some cognitions about how frustrating it is to be unable to fall asleep or some cognitions about how terrible it will be if she doesn't sleep well.

Last edited by James Pretzer; December 28th, 2004 at 10:21 PM. Reason: to add another thought
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