Family Therapy Techniques That Can Help You Manage your Sleeping Disorder

It’s unfortunate how conditions like sleep apnea can cause rifts between couples and resentment amongst siblings. It’s unfortunate because most of the time, the person suffering from sleep apnea can really do nothing to curb his or her condition for good. That’s why family therapy programs exist. It sounds simple, like attending sessions where you vent out your frustrations or just enjoy some talk therapy.

Looking at it more closely, it’s not really that simple as there is much more into family therapy than just attending sessions and opening up through talk therapy.  Effective family therapy involves cognitive behavioral treatments for sleep disorders and lifestyle modification like:

  • Sleep hygiene
  • Cognitive therapy
  • Relaxation training
  • Sleep Restriction therapy
  • Stimulus control

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Relaxation training and sleep disorders

Therapy methods like deep breathing techniques, progressive muscle relaxation, self hypnosis and imagery are all effective when it comes to treating sleep disorders. Take progressive muscle relaxation for instance – it involves helping an apneic patient to sequentially relax his or her body’s major muscle groups. It also involves concentrating on contrasting sensations of relaxation and tension.

Cognitive therapy

This is perhaps the most effective therapy technique out there. It helps people with sleep apnea to identify and rectify inappropriate beliefs and thoughts that contribute to not just sleep apnea but also insomnia. It can give an individual the right information about reasonable sleep goals, age related sleep changes and the influence of taking naps and working out. What’s more, it does not consume as much time as structural family therapy and functional family therapy do. This is why most patients prefer this type of therapy over the others.


Stimulus control

Otherwise known as SC, Stimulus Control applies mostly to couples. It is a simple practice in which the bedroom is reserved for nothing else but sex and sleep. It derives its concept from the notion that sleep disorders may be caused by bad bedroom associations and use such as watching the TV. As such, the bedroom should be exclusively reserved for sex, sleep and dressing.  For this reason, SC happens to be an effective marriage and family therapy technique.

Sleep restriction therapy

The concept behind sleep restriction therapy is very simple. It implies that excess time in bed only worsen sleep problems. It therefore suggests that a person should limit his or her time in bed to only that time when he or she is supposed to sleep.

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Sleep hygiene and sleep disorders

Sleep hygiene is not as complicated as it sounds. It involves habits, environmental factors and practices that are essential for getting sound sleep. It stresses on four important factors:

  • Circadian rhythm
  • Aging
  • Stimulants
  • Psychological stressors such as deadlines

pink sleep apnea mouth guard

Medical treatments

It all starts with watching out for sleep disorder symptoms such as heavy snoring. It then goes to seeking medical assistance on time. This way, curbing a sleep disorder like sleep apnea becomes really easy because the condition is easy to manage while it’s still at an early stage. You may have to buy a sleep apnea mouth guard at some point, but don’t worry. After sometime, you will get used to the device.

In conclusion

You don’t have to worry about attending family therapy sessions. You also don’t have to worry about going for treatment to curb your sleeping disorder menace. They are just but simple solutions that seem big but in essence they are manageable and very easy to adapt to. What’s more, there is always something you can do to improve your sleep disorder symptoms. Avoid stress, don’t drink too much, quit smoking, keep off sedatives, work out more often and stick to healthy diet.