Think about the last encounter you had with a friend or co-worker where you discussed sleep. You probably said something like, “You wouldn’t believe how tired I am! I only slept for five hours last night.” Your friendly likely responded with, “That’s nothing! I only got three hours of sleep.”
Examining this interaction, one would be led to believe that getting just a couple hours of sleep is worthy of a badge of honor. On the other hand, I’ll tell you something quite different.
What are the consequences of sleep deprivation?
When I have a client come into my office, one of the first questions I ask them is “How much sleep are you getting?” Have you ever thought about your sleep habits might affect your mental health? Sleep deprivation is clearly linked to increased anxiety, depression, and even psychosis in patients. In my experience clients who are suffering from any mental disorders will typically see symptoms improve remarkably with adequate shut eye.
Arguably the most dangerous consequence of sleep deprivation is a slower response time. The adage that a tired driver is more dangerous than a drunk driver is has been established over and over again in studies; cognitive effects of sleep deprivation may lead to mistakes, errors in judgment, and even psychosis. This relates to memory storage and even the decision-making process. If you haven’t been getting enough sleep, you are probably missing details at work or working on projects for school.
How much sleep do I need?
Truth be told, there really isn’t a specific amount of sleep that each person should aim for. Some people operate just fine with six hours, but some people need more than eight. Generally, you should always wake up feeling refreshed just a few minutes before the alarm rings.
What can I do to avoid sleep deprivation?
Sometimes going to bed earlier seems like an impossible feat, especially when issues like stress, temperature and diet come into play. You can create a bedtime ritual that gets your mind ready for sleep. Shut off the television and keep the electronics out of the bedroom for better sleep, and consider practicing good sleep hygiene.
Sleep deprivation is often related to psychological disorders. If this is the case, a therapist may be able to help. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a useful tool a professional might use to help you change your sleeping habits.
In today’s society, adults face many challenges in their daily lives. With demanding schedules, the struggle to maintain a work-life balance and increasing mental health concerns, a greater number of adults are reaching out for therapeutic assistance to help them cope with their day to day lives and break down their barriers to happiness. With the help of a qualified mental health professional, many are able to work through the problems they are facing, recognize their coping techniques and use their established resources and strengths to live healthier, happier lives.
Adult Therapy – A Journey Toward a Healthier, Happier Life
While some individuals shy away from therapy because they associate it with weakness or feelings of inferiority, seeking the assistance of a qualified mental health professional is actually a testament of strength and displays a willingness to take responsibility for life’s most difficult events and seek out positive change. An adult therapist provides a high level of support and insight into challenging situations and assists clients in honing in on existing strengths in order to overcome obstacles to happiness.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Explained
When it comes to adult therapy, one method that has shown particular effectiveness in various clinical studies is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT as it is often referred to, is a collaborative effort between a therapist and her client that incorporates empathy, warmth and genuineness. The initial goal of CBT is to develop a clear understanding of the problems or barriers at hand and devise a path toward remedying those barriers and breaking down maladaptive patterns. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is goal oriented, directive and time limited, meaning the individual seeking therapy is assisted in understanding the specific purpose of their sessions in order to direct their attention toward resolving or adjusting negative thought patterns with a clear end in sight. For many, CBT sessions are more effective than other forms of therapy, such as psychoanalysis, in a much shorter period of time. Several clinical studies have shown that adults participating in CBT often see significant improvement in 16 sessions or less. The end result of successful CBT is positive life changes that incorporate the adult’s strengths and lead to a happier, more fulfilling lifestyle.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Adults – Past and Current Uses
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy was initially used for adults facing depression and anxiety. While this style of therapy is still a top choice for therapists assisting clients with these concerns today, it has also proven effective in treating other conditions including eating disorders, substance abuse problems, sleep disorders, post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, in adults. Basically, CBT works by helping a client to identify a problematic way of thinking. In the case of ADHD, this might mean that a client realizes he believes he is stupid because of poor grades and progress in his educational career. In the case of an anxiety disorder, this might mean the person comes to the realization that she always believes she is in danger. Once this line of thinking is established, the therapist works with the client to challenge thought patterns and paint a more realistic picture of why life experiences are the way they are. Next, the client is taught to recognize strengths and reshape feelings, thoughts and associated actions. This leads to the individual learning how to adapt thinking patterns and develop more productive behaviors and a healthier self image.
CBT is an effective adult therapeutic tool for individuals of all ages and in all walks of life, but it is important to seek the assistance of an experienced, trained therapist to gain the greatest results in the shortest amount of time. A qualified therapist will conduct an initial consultation and understand any barriers the individual is facing before therapy begins. The therapist will then tailor future sessions to assist the client in overcoming any barriers and empower the client to feel comfortable and successful in the therapeutic relationship.
Approaches to CBT for Adults
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for adults is sometimes a stand-alone treatment, and it is sometimes combined with medications for those who require them. Consulting with a qualified mental health professional is the best way to decide how this course of treatment should be used in your particular situation and what, if any, additional medications or therapeutic practices you might also benefit from.
As a professional psychotherapist in San Diego, I have witnessed the many benefits that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy offers adults. I believe in empowering clients to recognize their own barriers to happiness and overcome them with the strengths that exist inside them, and that is a primary reason why CBT is one of many therapeutic approaches I use in my daily practice. If you are seeking a San Diego adult therapist to assist with any of the obstacles that life has thrown your way, contact my office today to schedule a free, no obligation CBT consultation. Together, we can work toward improving your outlook on life and moving toward your happier tomorrow.