Frequently Asked Questions
It is natural that you have some questions, hopefully we will answer them for you here. If you still have questions at the end, feel free to reach out to me by booking a free phonecall, or send me a message through my website.
The underlying cause of how your insomnia started is some sort of stress, but this isn’t necessarily a psychological stress. It could have been stressed caused by a medical condition (e.g., sleep apnoea, pregnancy or menopause) and from a mental health condition. Commonly is it caused by stressful life events such as work stress or a situational crisis. Through our sessions together I will help you understand the underlining mechanics of this so you feel fully informed about your sleep.
A clinical consultation is normally all that is needed to determine whether a patient has insomnia or not. Your sleep specialist will determine if there is further testing that may be required, but this is often if they expect another medical condition could be at play. Chronic (long term) insomnia is characterised by difficulty getting to sleep, staying asleep or having non-restorative sleep despite having adequate opportunity for sleep, together with associated impairment of daytime functioning, with symptoms being present for at least 3 months.
In the first few months of your sleeping problems, it is possible that your insomnia will self-correct once the causing problem is gone. It is not always easy to determine what the cause of your sleeping problems may be, so seeking professional help may be beneficial. For those patients who have had insomnia for years and years, it is less likely the insomnia will just magically disappear on its own. Treatments designed for chronic insomnia are the best way to get back to healthy normal sleep.
There are many causes that can contribute to insomnia, such as anxiety/stress, lifestyle factors, medical conditions, medications, or other sleep disorders. Seeking early treatment of these underlying causes can sometimes treat your insomnia. When your insomnia becomes chronic (>3months), it can last for months or even years and often requires more specialised intervention in order to revert the sleep to normal. The best way to do this is through cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia (CBT-I).
Yes! You do not have to suffer with your insomnia forever. Many patients have had their sleep revert back to completely normal after decades of sleeping problems.
Poor sleep can be made even worse by everyday behaviours and thinking patterns that patients often adapt to deal with their insomnia. Together we will explore these and help you have that lightning bolt moment of understanding about how your sleep has gotten to the point of where it is.
Unfortunately, there are many negative health impacts to poor sleep that have been well documented. Accumulative sleep loss has been associated with health consequences such as raised blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, mental health disorders and an increased risk of accidents. This is why many health professionals consider good sleep as beneficial to your health and good diet and exercise.
It used to be the way of thinking that insomnia was just a symptom of a mental health disorder, and when that was treated, normal sleep would resume. This thinking has changed in recent years to a more bi-directional relationship with mental illness. Insomnia can increase mental health symptoms, and vice versa. Insomnia however can be caused by a physiological issue as well. Women going through menopause is a perfect example of this, where their medical condition has been the catalyst of their sleeping issues.
Whilst insomnia causes negative health impacts, it is very rarely fatal. Sleep deprivation has caused deaths in the past, but that is very separate issue to insomnia. If this is something you are concerned about, please reach out to me and we can discuss this in depth.
There are various treatment methods out there, however studies continuously prove that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) is the most effective treatment. It is evidence based and considered the gold standard treatment by Australian and International medical guidelines.
Most individuals who try CBT-I experience improvements to their insomnia and better-quality sleep. When patients undergo CBT-I, as many as 70% to 80% experience improvements to their overall sleep time, their sleep efficiency and report taking less time to fall asleep.
This is a very individual thing, some patients feel the effects quickly, some take a little longer. Most will start to see an improvement to their sleep efficiency within the first couple of weeks.
It depends on the individual and how quickly your sleep improves. Some patients only need 4 sessions, some need more. There is a core 6 sessions of new learning material that is covered in the program, but additional sessions are often included (at not extra cost) if needed.
Absolutely. Every insomnia journey is different and so I will pay more attention to the areas of treatment that are specific to you.
The total cost of the course is $990 Australian dollars. This covers a minimum of 7 hours of consultation time, but is not capped at that. If you need additional time to improve your sleep we will work together at no additional cost. Once we are happy with where your sleep is at, then you have 3 additional months you can reach out to me for free if you need more help. If spending $990 in one go is a bit much for you, then reach out to me and we can organise a pay-as-you-go plan.
It depends on your insurance. Not every health insurance covers CBT-I and it would be worth calling your provider to check. Some may require a referral from your doctor, some won’t. I will provide a medical report for your insurance at the end if requested.
In order for CBT-I to work well, patients will need to address any confronting and problematic thoughts and behaviours they may be experiencing with their sleep. While treatment risks are low, it may be uncomfortable at times. I will help to minimize these risks and offer support and coping mechanisms where possible.