One of the most frustrating life experiences are those related to the inability to fall asleep in a reasonable amount of time, multiple nightly awaking, waking up at three or four in the morning and being unable to fall back asleep, nightmares or the need to sleep excessively.
The causes of sleep issues come in various varieties ranging from medical or substance related sleep problems, to those that associated with major life stressors, such as trauma, or those that are the result of long standing emotional factors that have not been properly processed.
Sleep issues are associated with emotions such as helplessness, frustration anxiety, anger and depression. Concentration is often comprised and mental confusion is common. Agitation, irritability and fatigue are also constant companions of the sleep deprived. Relationships also suffer, as others struggle to cope with their sleep deprived loved one.
Fortunately, most sleep difficulties are not tied to serious medical disorders and can be effectively treated by addressing life stressors and emotional factors that fuel sleeplessness. While uncomfortable and disconcerting, sleep issues should be viewed as important barometers of the state of one’s emotional health and like any symptom should be taken seriously. Proper diagnosis and therapeutic intervention focusing on emotional triggers can result in significant improvement if not the complete elimination of chronic sleep problems.
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