Problems sleeping

When you have been through a distressing experience, you may also have great difficulty sleeping. Perhaps you find it hard to go to bed because you are afraid you will have nightmares or that you won’t wake up anymore. Or you wake up with a jolt, totally focused on potential trouble or danger. You can’t put your mind to rest and relax. Then you lie awake for the better part of the night, tense and wound up like a spring waiting for the day to start.

You may also have times when you don’t feel like getting up at all. It all seems so utterly pointless. You don’t feel like going through another day. You feel so terribly tired. You plod on. It is as if your body in no way does what you want it to do.
You’d much prefer to sleep very deeply for a very long time, and nothing else.

The people around you try to encourage you to do something. This sometimes angers you. You feel they’re asking too much of you, or you feel guilty because you’re failing them. And then you feel so miserable again that you’d rather stay in bed.

What can you do yourself to prevent these sleeping problems developing after a distressing experience? Sometimes, a self-help programme can help. For more information go to ‘Online tools’. If these programmes don’t improve matters and you continue to have problems sleeping, it is important that you seek professional help. Look under ‘Help and Counselling’ on this website to find out where and how best to find professional help.