A sleep disorder is an abnormal pattern of sleep. While this description doesn’t sound harmful, it can affect people’s overall quality of life. For instance, sleep problems can increase the risk of developing health issues. For many people, seeing sleep psychologists and psychiatrists is the ideal way to get help.

Types of Sleep Disorders

a woman talks to Houston sleep psychologistsThere are many types of sleep disorders, and they can develop for many reasons. Many require Houston sleep therapy. Most people have heard of insomnia, which keeps people from falling or staying asleep. In fact, it’s the most common sleep disorder in the United States.

There are various levels of insomnia, including intermittent, transient, and chronic. Stress, hormones, anxiety, poor digestion, and jet lag are a few causes. Unfortunately, insomnia can cause problems such as depression, impaired performance at school or work, and poor concentration. In order to avoid these issues, it’s important for people to seek Houston sleep psychologists and psychiatrists for help.

Another sleep disorder is sleep apnea, during which breathing pauses while people sleep. Most people who experience it wake up during the night. Since it can cause oxygen deprivation, it’s a serious health problem.

Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a disorder that people might recognize. It involves overwhelming urges to move the legs, and sometimes the legs feel tingly. Although RLS usually occurs during sleep, it can happen during the day too. Also, people who have this disorder tend to have other health issues, such as Parkinson’s disease.

Sleep psychologists treat the above problems the most. However, they also treat parasomnias, which involve abnormal movements and behaviors. Some examples include sleepwalking, nightmares, sleep talking, and bed-wetting.

What Do Sleep Psychologists Do?

Psychologists can specialize in the evaluation and management of sleep disorders. As such, they address physical, mental, and behavioral factors that cause these problems. However, they use cognitive and behavioral therapies rather than medications. Psychiatrists, on the other hand, can prescribe medications to help with a range of sleep problems.

Therapy and Alternatives That Treat Sleep Disorders

One of the most common therapies that Houston sleep psychologists use is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). While the most traditional sessions are one-on-one, they can occur in groups as well. The best part about CBT is that psychologists can modify it according to each person’s needs. The reason is that sleep disorders can occur for many reasons and can cause various symptoms.

CBT works by dealing with negative thoughts and behaviors that contribute to sleep disorders. To address these issues, psychologists can use many other techniques too, such as:

  • Keeping a sleep diary
  • Challenging thoughts
  • Stimulus control therapy
  • Sleep restriction therapy
  • Relaxation training

Keeping a diary helps people and their sleep psychologists identify problems. Then, they can decide together how to deal with them. Challenging thoughts involves replacing negative thoughts with positive ones to improve sleep patterns.

With stimulus control therapy, people refrain from using their bedrooms for watching television, using their phones, or working. As a result, they train their bodies to maintain consistent sleep. Sleep restriction therapy involves not taking naps and staying up after normal bedtimes. The goal is to increase sleepiness the following night and build a stronger connection between being in bed and sleeping.

For relaxation training, sleep psychologists may use a range of techniques. Some examples include abdominal breathing, mindfulness meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation. With all of these, the objective is to relieve anxiety and tension so that people can sleep.

In addition, psychologists often suggest that people improve their sleep environments. Their bedrooms should be cool, dark and quiet when they rest. For that reason, some people need to get blackout curtains and sound machines to help them sleep.

Improve Your Sleep With Help From PACE Mental Health Houston

Do you have trouble with going to sleep or sleeping through the night? You can get Houston sleep therapy at PACE Mental Health Houston. Along with medications, our staff uses many techniques to help you achieve good sleep every night.

However, PACE Mental Health Houston is more than just a clinic for sleep disorders. Our team of psychiatrists and psychologists can help you heal from many mental illnesses. As such, we offer a variety of disorder-specific services, including:

Don’t make the mistake of believing that you can’t get better sleep. Get the help that you need from sleep psychologists at PACE Mental Health Houston. Dial 866.971.8423 to learn more today.