Some of the common symptoms of sleep disturbance
Have you been feeling?
- on edge
Have you had thoughts like?
- ‘This will never change’
- ‘I will be exhausted tomorrow morning’
- ‘I can’t cope with this lack of sleep’
- ‘I don’t feel rested’
- ‘I am not going to get enough sleep’
- ‘I will not manage at work because I am so tired’
Have you noticed?
- an increase or decrease in appetite
- you are sleeping too much or too little
- you have stopped doing the things you enjoy
- you lack in energy
- you are trying to catch up on your sleep during the day
- you are lying in bed awake for most of the night
- you are constantly checking the time at night
- poor concentration or poor memory
Possible causes of sleep disturbance
- stressful life events – these can be unwelcome or traumatic, such as being bullied at work, getting divorced, or being attacked/abused
- negative thinking – sometimes you may start to think negatively due to an event or situation, and this can then become a habit and part of your general outlook; you may not even be aware of how negatively you were thinking or how this is impacting on you
- loss – this can be the actual loss of someone through death or disappearance, but it can also be a major life change where there has been an adjustment and a loss of role or identity, e.g. redundancy or retirement
- anger – if you struggle to express your feelings, particularly anger, you may find yourself struggling to sleep as a result of not expressing your anger or frustration in a safe and responsible way
- physical health – various illnesses can contribute to sleep disturbance, such as hormonal problems, menopause, pain, and diabetes
- substance use – the effects of medication, alcohol, drugs, caffeine, and nicotine can impact on your quality of sleep
- common mental health difficulties can affect your quality of sleep
How common is sleep disturbance?
- 30% of adults in the UK are affected by sleep disturbance
- 50% of older adults suffer from insomnia
- sleep disturbance is more common in women, children and older adults