Should I get therapy for my sleep disorder?

This question was asked in Chuluota, Florida on 02/18/2013.
I consistently wake up after getting only 5 hours of sleep. I go to bed around 10:30pm and wake up 5 to 5.5 hours later. I follow good sleep hygiene. I have undergone a sleep study that revealed I don't have sleep apnea. It was recommended I undergo mental therapy. I am looking for a therapist who understands early morning awakenings or any other medical specialists who can help my issue. Would this be my best approach?

Doctors Answers (4)

Jana P. Kaimal, MD, FCCP
Answered on: 4/5/2013 7

There are some behavioral changes you can make to help with sleep disorders. Discuss this with your sleep specialist, they can provide you with tools and possibly refer you to a therapist qualified to help you.

Daron Scherr, MD, DABSM
Answered on: 4/5/2013 1

Yes, following up with a sleep specialist is the best approach.

In the meantime, the following may be exceedingly helpful. I sleep 4.5 hours per night as that is my personal programmed sleep need. I go to bed at 2:00am and get out of bed at 6:30am.

Many people with insomnia are going to bed to early for their own circadian rhythm. Working a 1 hour nap into the middle of the day is also quite helpful.

J. Douglas Hudson, MD, DABSM
Answered on: 2/26/2013

Your best approach to your sleep disorder would be to consult with a psychologist who addresses sleep disorders. This may include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This person can recognize the need for you to consult a physician if medication is needed. In addition to CBT, light therapy may be needed.

Courtney Whitney, DO
Answered on: 2/19/2013

It does sound like working with a cognitive behavioral sleep specialist would be the next best step for you. You can use the American Academy of Sleep Medicine's website to find a board certified specialist in behavioral sleep medicine.