Living with insomnia is tough enough, but when it’s compounded by another chronic condition, it can feel like an insurmountable challenge. Imagine trying to swim to shore while holding a heavy anchor. The weight of your sleep issues, combined with the burden of another health problem, drags you deeper into the depths of exhaustion and frustration. This is the reality for many people who struggle not only with insomnia but also with conditions like chronic pain, anxiety, menopause, or fibromyalgia.

The relationship between insomnia and other conditions is often a vicious cycle. For instance, chronic pain can prevent you from falling or staying asleep, leading to a restless night. The resulting lack of sleep can then heighten your sensitivity to pain, creating a feedback loop that makes everything worse. In a similar way, anxiety can keep your mind racing at night and the lack of sleep can then intensify your anxiety during the day.

However, looking at this from another angle can find some hope! With often a close relationship between the two, improving your insomnia can help you deal with the other condition better. Recovery can be quicker, pain can feel less pronounced and your overall mood may increase.

But can we fix insomnia if we’re still affected by the other condition?

Yes! The good news is that even if you continue to struggle with your primary condition, you can still improve your sleep. After several months the insomnia becomes a condition of its own which means we can fix it!

Through sleep retraining, based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I), you can regain control of your sleep. There are many ways to access CBT-I, whether it be DIY online courses, books, or free apps. 

But CBT-I can be tricky, requiring some perseverance and patience for at least a few weeks up to a few months. So it’s important to choose the method which works for you! One that will take into account any other conditions you might be experiencing and how to make sleep retraining manageable on top of this.

At re:sleep we personalise the program to you, your sleep problem and your life. Our care team is also there to help you throughout and weekly clinics with our sleep experts create a space for you to get the individualised help you need.

So overall…

Remember, overcoming chronic insomnia while dealing with another condition is challenging, but not impossible! With the right support and strategies, you can reclaim your nights and improve your days. The journey to better sleep and health is a gradual one, but every step forward brings you closer to a more restful, rejuvenated life.

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