RUTH’S SLEEP PROBLEM IN BRIEF:
+ 2 years of insomnia
+ Little to no sleep on nights before going to work, sleeping well on non work nights
+ Considering giving up work
+ Feelings of panic going to bed
Ruth had been struggling with her sleep ever since a stressful period at work had her worrying about her sleep the night before she was going to work. On a good night before work she would get 3-4 hours sleep and on a bad night she would get less than an hour. On the other nights she would sleep well. She felt she was doing 'all the right things' but because her sleep wasn't improving, she was left contemplating whether to give up her job (which she loved). She stopped going out or doing anything in the evenings because she was worried about how it might affect her sleep.
IN HER WORDS…
DESCRIBE HOW THINGS WERE FOR YOU JUST BEFORE YOU FOUND EMMA (E.G., HOW LONG THE PROBLEM HAD BEEN GOING ON FOR, HOW MUCH SLEEP YOU WERE GETTING, HOW YOU WERE FEELING).
Following an intensely stressful time at work my sleep became increasingly difficult. It started with waking up at 1am for the remainder of the night, and then rapidly deteriorated into a situation where I would not fall asleep at all on the days before work. This lead to me feeling exhausted and lacking competence at work. Worry about poor performance, but not feeling able to talk to anybody about it. At times I considered giving up my job completely, which was a job in the NHS that I loved. I found that the idea of sleep itself and the build-up to going to bed became an anxiety in itself, with physical symptoms of panic as bedtime approached. I found Emma’s website in desperation, having tried two other therapists specialising in counselling and hypnotherapy.
DESCRIBE HOW THINGS ARE FOR YOU NOW
Emma's approach was simple, yet highly effective and reassuring. I started to understand the patterns of sleep disruption that I had fallen into, and within a couple of weeks had managed to make changes to my evening routine and thinking that reduced anxiety around sleep. I started to sleep for a few hours per night, which increased my confidence and lead to further improvements in my sleep. I still have the odd bad night, but now I just don’t worry about it as much, and it does not impact on my life in any way near the same as it used to. I have increased confidence in myself, ability to cope when things don’t go to plan and more flexibility with sleep.
IF YOU COULD GO BACK AND GIVE YOURSELF A PIECE OF ADVICE OR SUPPORT WHEN YOU WERE STRUGGLING, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
I would have contacted Emma much sooner, her approach was simple, cost effective and by far the best option for me
ARE THERE ANY OTHER COMMENTS YOU WOULD LIKE TO MAKE?
No I liked the options of online consultations to fit in with my life, and her follow up support afterwards.
A note from Emma
Ruth was indeed doing 'everything right' in the sense that she was making sensible decisions before bedtime, however these were only surface level solutions and she needed to work on the problem at the right level in order to solve it. The problem for Ruth was the way her mind and body were relating to sleep on the nights before she went to work. When following the SAFE sleep formula she was able to quickly regain her sleep every night and she then had the tools to protect her sleep moving forwards.