Better Sleep for Better Health
Sleep is a critical time for our mind and body, as insufficient or poor quality sleep has been shown to contribute to a variety of mental, emotional, and physical health problems. Unfortunately, many people are getting less than optimal amount of sleep each night and even people who are spending enough hours in bed are not getting the deep, restorative sleep they should be. It is normal to have trouble sleeping every now and again, and occasional insomnia is usually nothing to worry about, but when sleep eludes you night after night, chronic sleep loss needs to be corrected.
There are two main groups of problem-sleepers. The first are those who simply have a poor sleep environment and/or unhealthy sleep habits. For them, making changes to their lifestyle and environment and improving their sleep habits may be all that is necessary to reset their sleep drive and get them to slip into a restful slumber each night. For the second group, there may be other underlying causes for their sleep disturbances - physical pain, depression, anxiety, phobias, grief, rumination, fear, and so on. There are also two types of severity. The first are those who have dealt with sleep issues long enough that it has become a problem for them, but who can still bounce back to getting consistently healthy sleep just by making some basic changes. The second are those who have dealt with sleep issues so long that the unhealthy sleep patterns are very deeply ingrained and they will require more intensive work to get them to a point of sleeping well.
The 'Better Sleep' programs are multi-week sleep improvement programs designed to help you achieve a better night's sleep without the use of pharmaceuticals. We offer three different programs depending on each person's needs and physical location...
If you want to go it alone without the one-on-one coaching, visit 'The Tortoise Way' and check out their self-directed, learn-at-your-own-pace, in your own home, program.
Who is a sleep program for?
A sleep program may benefit you if you are troubled by prolonged sleep disturbances that are affecting your health and quality of life. Sleep disturbances can include issues with:
falling asleep (regularly taking longer than 30 minutes to fall asleep)
staying asleep (drifting off but then waking and being unable to fall back to sleep, waking repeatedly throughout the night, or being awoken by nightmares)
waking early (and not being able to fall back to sleep or waking too close to the alarm to make falling back to sleep an option)
poor sleep quality (spending ample time sleeping but still not awakening feeling refreshed and alert because you are unable to get to a level of deep, restorative sleep)
How does a sleep program help?
A sleep program helps by using education and coaching to address the key factors that most often affect sleep duration and quality:
common sleep zappers
pain and other health conditions
stress and other emotional or mental disturbances
With both our in-office and sleep mentorship programs, a comprehensive sleep analysis is completed to determine potential problem areas and how best to address them. There are also a variety of questionnaires and activities to complete throughout the course of the program.
What types of tools are used to address sleep issues?
The tools used will depend on which program you select and what your individual needs are, but may include any combination of the following:
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Relaxation and Meditation
Self-Hypnosis more info
Vibroacoustic Therapy (in-office) more info
Videos and recordings
Why do a program?
In a nutshell, we do not set up false expectations about making radical changes to long-term problems overnight, with guarantees that we can magically fix everything that is wrong with one session. Instead, we understand that changing attitudes and behaviours takes time, especially once they have become firmly ingrained as habits, so all of our programs are meant to be used for a minimum of 4 to 8 weeks, or longer.
We start with an extensive evaluation of all things sleep-related to determine how to proceed. Participants complete a series of questionnaires which are reviewed by their sleep coach. Guidance is then provided which is specific to the individual and their personal needs.
An added bonus when doing a program is that if you run into any problems or have any questions between session, you have access to email exchanges and online chat sessions for ongoing support and direction as well as providing accountability, assistance with problem-solving, and progress monitoring.
The benefit of the in-office sessions is that they allow for the addition of therapies and activities that use the tools and equipment in our office. In-office appointments are only available in Regina, SK.
What do you need to complete the sleep programs?
It is strongly encouraged that you have a desktop computer or laptop. There are many assessments you will be completing throughout the course of the program and it might be easier for them to be completed on a larger screen rather than on a phone or tablet.
A valid email address.
An internet connection.
Word or Excel if you want to create your own trackers to use.
**If you encounter any technical difficulties with the program, we are happy to help and can often send information in different formats to accommodate you.
A recording device.
A fitness band with a sleep tracker.
A journal is a handy tool to have, but not required. Once we get into the program material it will become more apparent where a journal might come in handy.
Access to Google Drive (it is the easiest way to share files).
A cell phone or camera for taking pictures.
A printer and scanner are optional but encouraged so you can print, fill out, and submit your assessments and sleep diary you will be completing each day of the program. If you do not have access to a printer, forms can be sent to you in Word or Excel format so they may be completed online.
Other than the above, the most important thing that is needed is the right attitude and right mind-set for doing this program. It requires patience, a desire for change, an open-mind, a commitment to succeed, and a willingness to put in the required time and effort. There will be mini-homework assignments and suggestions of things to try, and if you are closed-minded or do not have a desire to participate, you are less likely to achieve your desired outcome.