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What can a sleep professional help with?

A professional can diagnose whether a client is having a periodic sleep disturbance or whether they have insomnia or another sleep condition. Problems with sleeping can frequently be a symptom of another condition, such as anxiety or depression. Ultimately, any professional will help clients find strategies to get a better night’s sleep, and enjoy the reduced irritability and increased energy that comes with it.

Who can diagnose sleep problems?

Many therapists include sleep problems or insomnia as areas of expertise. Psychologists, counselors, social workers, psychiatrists, primary care physicians, and neurologists are all licensed to treat sleep problems. There are also physician sleep specialists, and in some cities, sleep clinics, where a client may be observed to see if they have sleep apnea or another condition.

How does a therapist treat sleep problems?

Professionals will focus on reducing anxiety and creating plans to improve sleep hygiene, such as keeping a sleep journal, reducing blue light before bedtime, restructuring the client’s routines to reduce or eliminate napping, and working on going to bed at the same time each night. Physical activity and getting enough sunlight are lifestyle changes that a therapist may also recommend.

What’s the best therapy type for insomnia?

Several types of therapy can help with sleep problems, but the first-line treatment for insomnia is cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I), a short-term form of therapy that aims to diagnose and modify behaviors and counterproductive thoughts that may be causing the client to experience insomnia or disrupted sleep. Other therapy types that may help include relaxation therapy, light therapy, and reconditioning or stimulus control.