Sleep Disorders Counselling

Sleep is as essential to living as is eating and breathing. It is our body’s natural restoration system for both mental and physical exhaustion. It’s no secret that people with better sleeping routines enjoy better health. Sleep problems over the short term are common, but if they continue they can chip away at your happiness and wellbeing.

What are Sleep Disorders?

You can define sleep disorders as a group of conditions that impact a person’s ability to relax and sleep well on a regular basis. You can experience temporary sleep difficulties due to stress, exhaustion, or other outside influences. However, if the issues begin to occur at a regular basis and start to interfere with daily life, they can indicate a sleeping disorder.

Good sleep is essential for health and it can even affect your hormones, weight and mood. A sleep disorder can affect your overall health and quality of life. Sleep deprivation is not only unproductive but harmful as well. It can increase your chances of unsafe driving and make you more prone to other health issues as well.

Depending on the disorder, people may face difficulties going to sleep and feeling physically drained throughout the day. It is important to have a diagnosis and start treatment right away if you suspect you have a sleep disorder, because irregular sleeping patterns can severely impact your life.

There are different types of sleep disorders. Often they are grouped into categories to explain why they happen and how they affect you. Here are some common types of sleep disorders.


Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder in the whole world. Insomnia refers to a person’s inability to fall asleep or remain asleep. Insomnia may be a symptom of another health condition or it can be caused by stress, anxiety, hormones and digestive problems. It can lead to depression, concentration problems, weight gain, and impaired performance in school or work.

Sleep Apnea

In sleep apnea, one experiences pauses and interruption in breathing during sleep. This is a severe medical condition that restricts the body from taking proper oxygen. This lack of oxygen can make it difficult to breathe and therefore, you wake up at night and have sleeping difficulties.


These are sleep disorders that cause abnormal behaviours during sleep. Such as groaning, nightmares, sleepwalking, sleep talking etc.

Restless Leg Syndrome

This syndrome is categorized by an overwhelming need to move the legs when trying to sleep. The urge is sometimes accompanied by a tingling sensation in the legs and it can even occur during the day.


It consists of “sleep attacks” that occur during the day. This means that you feel extremely tired and the need to sleep all of a sudden. It can even lead to sleep paralysis which makes you unable to move right after waking up. It is often associated with other neurological disorders as well.

How to find a Sleep Disorders Therapist

If you are looking to find the perfect Sleep Disorders therapist it is crucial to make sure that they have the appropriate qualifications, knowledge and experience. At Expat Therapy 4U we only accept therapists who have full professional proficiency in English and are highly experienced in working with people from culturally diverse backgrounds. The clinicians we approve share our values and commitment to provide high quality therapy to the expatriate community in the private sector across Europe and online worldwide. We strongly believe that therapy changes lives, and being accredited ensures all our therapists are qualified to a high standard. You can find a Sleep Disorders therapist who is insured to practice and accredited with a recognised membership body online here.

Symptoms of Sleep Disorders

  • You regularly wake up several times during the night and have trouble going back to sleep or you wake up too early in the morning.
  • You feel restless and tired during the day because of your sleep deficiencies.
  • You often sleep during the day or take naps at irregular hours.
  • On average, it takes you around 30 minutes to fall asleep each night.
  • Your bed partner complains about irregular behaviours when you sleep such as choking, snorting, or even stopping breathing for short periods.
  • Depression and lack of concentration because of sleep problems.
  • You feel as if you cannot move when you first wake up.
  • You have dreamlike, vivid experiences when you try to fall asleep.

Causes of Sleep Disorders

Factors that can cause sleep disorders include:

  • Physical disturbances in the body such as chronic pain, headaches, arthritis and fibromyalgia etc.
  • Medical issues such as asthma.
  • Psychological disorders such as anxiety, extreme stress and depression.
  • Environmental issues like an uncomfortable sleeping environment and problems with your bed partner.
  • Genetics can also play a big role in disorders such as narcolepsy.
  • Medications often also interfere with your sleeping habits. Especially antidepressants and certain blood pressure medications can induce insomnia and sleeping problems.
  • Older age is another factor that contributes to sleep disorders. People aged 65 and above usually are more likely to experience sleep disorders.
  • Unhealthy ways of living and a lack of good sleeping habits can cause the development of sleep disorders over time.
  • Excessive use of caffeine and alcohol can also contribute to difficulty sleeping.

Treatments for Sleep Disorders

The most common treatments for sleep disorders include:


Both over the counter and prescription medications are available for sleeping disorders. These medications may include sleeping pills, melatonin supplements, breathing devices, dental guards or an adjustment for medications you already take for other issues which may be causing sleep difficulties.

Talk therapies

These consist of psychological and behavioural techniques that can help treat insomnia. These include relaxation training in which you progressively learn to relax your muscles to go to sleep. Stimulus control in which you limit the number of distractions in your sleeping room and build an association between bed and sleep. Cognitive-behavioural therapy teaches you helpful ways to tackle negative behaviours and set-up proper sleeping routines.

Lifestyle changes

The following lifestyle changes can help.

  • Incorporating fish vegetable and fish into your diet and reducing sugar and excessive caffeine intake.
  • Reducing stress, anxiety and other mood problems with exercise.
  • Drinking less water before bedtime.
  • Sticking to a regular sleeping routine and following that routine even on weekends.
  • Decreasing tobacco and alcohol usage.
  • Eating smaller low carb diets before bedtime.
  • Sleeping less during the day

Find a Sleep Disorders Therapist through the Expat Therapy 4U platform

Sleep difficulties can severely impact your quality of life and may even lead to depression. The more your sleep disorder continues, the harder it gets for you to maintain physical and psychological well being. If you experience a sleep disorder yourself, consult a doctor so you can devise a plan to get back to living a healthy lifestyle.

Further Readings on Sleep Disorders



About Expat Therapy 4U

Expat Therapy 4U is the result of 5 years’ experience running The International Psychology Clinic, the first private therapy service based in London specialized in multilingual and multicultural therapy.

The platform is run by Dr Martina Paglia. Dr Martina is a leading dual qualified Clinical and Counselling psychologist who helps patients by providing bespoke psychological services including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Counselling and Psychotherapy in London and online worldwide.

Our network comprises highly qualified and experienced private therapists who have made a positive difference in the lives of thousands of expats worldwide. All members of our community are highly experienced working in cross-cultural environments.

We are passionate about delivering first-class patient-centred, safe and effective care. If you would like to work with a warm, inclusive, caring and professional English-speaking therapist in Europe or online worldwide you have come to the right place.

If you are looking for the perfect expat Therapist in Europe or online worldwide, our team is dedicated to help you find your best match. We offer a client guarantee where clients can re-book with a different therapist if they are not satisfied with their first therapy session.

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