What is Sleep Therapy?
Research shows that 30-40% of the general population experience unsatisfactory sleep on a regular basis. Sleep disturbances can range from common mild symptoms such as occasionally waking un-refreshed in the morning, to more serious sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnoea, narcolepsy and severe chronic insomnia.
Because sleep is such a complex and poorly understood process, it can be difficult to find a medical provider or therapist who truly understands sleep and how debilitating and frustrating these disturbances can be. At the Sleep Clinic, we understand and are here to help.
The aim of Sleep Therapy, alongside offering support and understanding, is to help restore your sleep quality to a healthier function once again. We do this through a combination of sleep education, lifestyle interventions and specific tools and therapies scientifically proven to improve sleep. Taking an integrative and holistic approach, we work with the whole person and lifestyle.
Alongside Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-i) - the gold standard treatment for insomnia - we include methods such as breathing techniques, mindfulness training and health coaching to help you sleep well again.
Who is Sleep Therapy Suitable for?
Sleep Therapy is suitable for anybody experiencing persistent unsatisfactory sleep or sleeplessness that is having a negative impact on daily living. Because disturbed sleep can be related to underlying health issues, however, we recommend that your first port of call is with your GP. Serious sleep disorders or other underlying health conditions impacting sleep may need to be treated medically before or alongside Sleep Therapy sessions.
Whether there is an underlying medical reason for your sleep disturbances or not, Sleep Therapy can be a support for you. A lot of the time, all medical tests come back normal, leaving people with no real answers and nowhere to turn. This can be highly frustrating, and it is vital to get professional support to prevent turning toward unhealthy habits and substances to help you sleep.
When there is no known underlying medical cause, disturbances with sleep can be a result of ongoing chronic stress, anxiety, loneliness or low mood. Chronic insomnia is often triggered by a past trauma or significant life event such as divorce, bereavement or lifestyle change (ex. job promotion, house move or the arrival of babies in the household). At other times, sleep disturbances may simply be due to unhealthy dietary and lifestyle habits or unhelpful thought patterns and behaviours, which can be corrected through appropriate lifestyle interventions and therapeutic support.
Sleep Therapy can provide support for the following sleep conditions:
Un-refreshing or non-restorative sleep
Daytime fatigue or excessive daytime sleepiness
Insomnia - Difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep or waking too early
Sleep Paralysis & Hypnagogic/Hypnopompic Hallucinations
Restless Legs Syndrome
Circadian Rhythm Disturbances
What Should I Expect?
STEP 1: Pre-Evaluation Call & Data Collection
The first step is to arrange a short 15 minute telephone conversation to see if Sleep Therapy is right for you. After this, you will receive a Sleep Evaluation Questionnaire (SEQ) and a 7-day Sleep & Lifestyle Diary to fill out via post or email. These essential tools help us gain a greater understanding of your sleep patterns and to identify the different factors that may be impacting your sleep. From these, we will develop an individualised treatment plan, tailored specifically to you and your lifestyle.
STEP 2: Initial Consultation [90 Minutes]
Your initial consultation can be booked in for 1-2 days after receiving your SEQ and Diary. In this initial session, we will do a full review of your sleep history and current sleep difficulties, allowing plenty of time for you to share your story. After this, you will learn a bit about the mechanisms of sleep and what impacts sleep, and together we will begin addressing simple dietary, lifestyle and behavioural adjustments to get you started on the road to recovery. This session can last up to 90 minutes and may be sufficient to help you sleep well again.
STEP 3: Further Treatment Sessions incl. CBT-i Sessions [60 Minutes]
Others with more complex sleep difficulties such as chronic insomnia will benefit from a more in-depth, multi-session treatment program incorporating Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT-i). CBT-i is much more than just Sleep Hygiene guidelines, and includes a range of different tools and therapies:
Addressing Sleep-Related Anxiety & Hyperarousal
Addressing Unhelpful Beliefs around Sleep
Stimulus Control Therapy
Sleep Efficiency Training
Relaxation Techniques (ex. Breathing Techniques, Mindfulness Meditation, Progressive Muscle Relaxation)
Most people report feeling and sleeping a lot better after 2-3 sessions but some may need additional sessions.
OPTIONAL STEP 4: Follow Up Email or Telephone Support
This is a great option if you are sleeping well enough to no longer need in person therapy sessions but would still like to receive some support to help keep you on track.
Sleep Therapy Initial Consultation Package - 90 euro [60 - 80 min session]
Initial 15 minute Telephone Consultation
1-2 Week Sleep & Lifestyle Diary Analysis
1:1 in person or Zoom Session [up to 80 minutes]
Follow up email with an individualised suite of guided meditation audios, mindfulness PDF's, healthy eating plans and/or other resources relevant to your specific needs
Further Sleep Therapy/CBT-i Sessions - 65 euro [30 - 60 min session]
1:1 in person or Zoom session [30 to 60 minutes depending on need]
Further Sleep Diary analysis
Follow up email with additional individualised resources, and additional email support between sessions if needed
Follow Up Email/Telephone Support - 30 euro per week
1 telephone call [up to 20 minutes]
1 email with diary analysis and feedback, if needed
Sleep Issue: Recent Onset - Work-Related Stress, Anxiety & Insomnia
"My issues began when I started a new job. Within weeks I started encountering issues with stress and anxiety that I had not experienced previously. What started off as an annoyance soon took hold of my everyday life, impacting everything from mood, relationships and sleep. Sleep was majorly affected where most nights I was lucky to get 2-3 hours. I tried everything from homeopathy to conventional medicine but nothing seemed to work.
I heard of Jean’s services through a friend so contacted her and shared my story. Jean put me at ease immediately, assuring me that what was happening to me wasn’t unusual and that it was fixable. That initial phone call gave me a massive lift. After 2 to 3 sessions with Jean I could see a definite change in myself, mood was lifting, sleep was starting to normalize, stress levels were coming down. In each session Jean’s patience, enthusiasm and expertise in her field always shone through.
The biggest takeaway from my time with Jean is that she provided me with the everyday tools to cope with all the stresses life can throw at you. I would wholeheartedly recommend Jean as my life has changed unequivocally for the better since partaking in the sessions she provided."
- Anon, IT Manager
Sleep Issue: Long-Term Poor Sleeper - Difficulty Falling Asleep, Staying Asleep & Early Morning Awakenings
"As long as I can remember I have been a very poor sleeper and was even told as a child that I slept poorly, so I had resigned myself to the fact that some people are just born bad sleepers. I was also putting it down to a very busy lifestyle and a stressful job but it was hugely impacting on my life.
For years I felt I was always looking for some intervention that might help. I have tried almost every holistic treatment there is from Acupuncture (I would sleep well that night after a treatment but would that's as far as it would go), Reflexology, Reiki etc. all to no avail. I have also tried numerous alternative remedies from health stores to help sleep and have had to resort to short courses of sleeping tablets from my G.P.
I only wish I had been recommended a Sleep Therapist like Jean years ago as I was totally unaware of just what a complex issue it is and it does impact hugely on your life when you are constantly sleep-deprived. Little did I know that making a few small and thankfully not very drastic changes can make such a big impact on it. I have always thought of myself as a very healthy eater and would exercise regularly, drink very little, thinking I was doing all the right things and yet still couldn't understand why sleep was always the bane of my life. It turns out I was lacking a lot of essential things which are vital to restoring a normal sleeping pattern.
Jean also changed my quite negative internal dialogue about sleep. The various techniques she has shown me have been hugely beneficial in not just aiding my sleep but helping to hugely reduce my anxiety and stress levels also, and I feel so much more grounded and content now.
I found Jean to be extremely knowledgeable and yet very understanding and compassionate about my sleep issues. The fact that she herself has overcome her own sleep problems made the whole process all the more authentic. I wish for G.P's and health practitioners to become more aware of the importance of Sleep Therapy for people suffering with insomnia. It really is vital that the core of the problem is addressed and that people are referred to someone like Jean who can guide and support them to find a solution. My overall health & general well being aswell as my sleep issues have been transformed since attending Jean, I would thoroughly recommend working with her to start living better."
- Anon, Healthcare Practitioner
Sleep Issue: Long-Term Poor Sleeper - Severe Difficulty Falling Asleep & Staying Asleep
"I have struggled with sleep for the vast majority of my life and have heard a range of different and anecdotal advice through the years that had little impact. Sleeplessness has affected my health, relationships, work performance and anxiety levels.
I was skeptical when I began to work with Jean, as I thought it was going to be another lecture about why I feel the need to stay up so late and what’s really going on beneath that behaviour. However, from the outset, her approach was practical and applied.
Some of the very simple suggestions she made have had the biggest impact. I realise now that I had very little awareness of what governs the sleep process. My general knowledge and understanding of sleep and what it actually is and does has increased so much from working with Jean.
I would highly recommend Jean’s sleep programme to anyone with sleep difficulties, her work is not only very professional and diligent but also extremely important. Added to this her own previous struggles with sleep lend a great authenticity to this work as she understands the torment of insomnia and sleeplessness as well as anyone, and is living proof that we don’t have to live like that anymore.”
- Ciarán Hourican, Professional Mentor and Coach
Sleep Issue: Long-Term Poor Sleeper - Severe Difficulty Falling Asleep, Staying Asleep, Early Morning Awakenings & Frequent Disturbing Nightmares
"After around 15 years of having little or no sleep most nights, I could not take any more as the lack of sleep was having a profound effect on my life - physically and mentally. There were many nights that it was getting bright in the morning when I would eventually fall asleep. I also had terrible nightmares.
I sought help and was referred to Jean O' Hanlon. She asked me to keep a sleep diary over a few weeks and on studying these, she was able to identify my problem areas and make relevant suggestions as to what could help me. I followed Jean's advice and suggestions and my sleep began to improve. I did go back to bad nights for a while during lock-down, but thankfully this was short-lived and I began to improve again. My nightmares are practically gone and I now fall asleep fairly quickly after going to bed. If I do wake, I don't get stressed about waking and generally fall back asleep fairly quickly. I don't know myself now that I can get a better night’s sleep. The effort that I had to make and the changes that were necessary were well worth it.
Thanks Jean, from a very grateful client."
- Pauline, Retired Medical Administrator
Sleep Issue: 2-3 years - Difficulty Falling Asleep, Prolonged Awakenings, Early Morning Awakenings, Restless Sleep
"After many years of trying several things to solve my sleep problems from Hypnotherapy, Acupuncture, Yoga, Kinesiology, Reflexology, massage therapy and seeing several doctors - I stumbled across the hidden gem of Jean, who has transformed my sleep problems.
For the first time, someone listened and understood my problems, and worked with me to solve them. I can now finally sleep, and what a gift that is!"
- Pamela O' Keefe, Project Manager