Insomnia is the difficulty in getting enough sleep, affecting people by either making it hard to fall asleep or causing early awakening with trouble returning to sleep.

insomnia psychologist

What is Insomnia?

Insomnia describes the inability to obtain an adequate amount or quality of sleep. It can affect people in different ways; some have difficulty falling asleep (onset insomnia) while others tend to wake prematurely and have difficulty returning to sleep (early morning insomnia).

Sleep is a natural process that allows us to recover, both mentally and physically, from our daily activity and it enables our immune system to fight illness more effectively. We all differ in the amount of sleep we need to function effectively. While some people appear to need up to 10 hours per night to feel refreshed, others are able to function perfectly well on 5-6 hours. Sleep difficulties are one of the most common issues that prompt people to visit their family doctor. In fact 20-25% of Australians have reported some form of insomnia in their lives.


When we fail to get sufficient quality sleep we become more prone to tiredness, impaired concentration and memory, and we are more likely to experience mood swings or irritability. This puts us at greater risk of illness, accidents and can put our relationships under pressure.

What causes insomnia?

Insomnia often begins when we are stressed about things in our personal lives. Usually this is a temporary difficulty and resolves within a few days. However for some people this can remain and develop into a worry about not sleeping properly. This can become a self-perpetuating cycle and often has the effect of making the sleep disturbance worse. A number of factors can contribute to insomnia, including: medical conditions, mental health conditions, prescription medications and drug or alcohol use.

If you notice that you are having the following difficulties you may be experiencing insomnia:

  • Difficulty falling asleep, or staying asleep once you do fall asleep.
  • Waking up early
  • Feeling anxious or worried when it is time to go to bed.
  • Feeling physically or mentally drained during the day.
  • Need a daytime sleep or caffeine to help you through the day.

Treatment for Insomnia

At TG Psychology we are confident that we can help you to get your sleep pattern back on track, so that you can feel refreshed and ready to tackle your days. We can help you to identify and address any underlying causes behind your difficulties, including depression, anxiety and stress, and can suggest a range of strategies designed to help improve your sleep.

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