Sleep Related Anxiety

What is it?

Stress and anxiety can lead to difficulties with sleep, making the ability to get restorative rest at night a problem. A bit like the chicken and the egg, anxiety can lead to difficulties with sleep, but a lack of sleep can lead to increased anxiety and a decreased ability to cope. As such, understanding the interplay between sleep and mental health conditions is important, as is treating sleeping conditions as they arise. Not only is this important for your mental health, it is also important for your physical wellbeing, with a lack of sleep linked to shortened lifespan, increased accidents, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes and obesity.

What are the signs and symptoms?

People experiencing anxiety often struggle with regular sleep patterns. This can be due to worry and rumination about concerns whilst trying to fall asleep, anxiety about falling asleep and getting rest, anticipatory anxiety about wakefulness, dread about the follow day, hyperarousal to bodily sensations, thoughts, and feelings. This can lead to initial insomnia, meaning difficulty getting to sleep; middle insomnia, meaning difficulty remaining asleep; sleep fragmentation, meaning increased wakefulness throughout the night; and poorer overall quality of sleep. This can significantly impact a person’s daily functioning, health, and wellbeing.

How do we treat anxiety about sleep?

At Anxiety House, we offer Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) in the treatment of insomnia. It is a five-week course which is tailored to each individual and teaches people with insomnia how to strengthen their sleep system. The program involves an initial assessment of the individual followed by five sessions spaced over a six-week period.

The initial assessment involves a series of questions regarding the sleep history of the individual, including their:

  • Current sleeping pattern
  • Cognitive/behavioural factors (thoughts/habits) causing the insomnia
  • Lifestyle & environmental factors affecting their sleep
  • Physical and psychological issues present and past –their level of anxiety and stress, other medical problems, or mental health issues

The stages of the treatment program include:

  • Stage one: Sleep education and cognitive restructuring for insomnia
  • Stage two: Sleep medication withdrawal and sleep scheduling techniques
  • Stage three: Stimulus control techniques
  • Stage four: The relaxation response
  • Stage five: Sleep hygiene techniques


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Note: Our clinic is not a crisis service so please call Lifeline (13 11 14) or the Suicide Call-back Service (1300 659 467) for support if you are feeling suicidal. In an emergency, please dial 000.

Interested in joining our team at Anxiety House Brisbane (AHB)?

    • Masters and/or Doctorate in Clinical Psychology
    • Eligible for registration with AHPRA as an endorsed “Clinical Psychologist” or eligibility for the clinical psychology registrar program
    • Eligible for Medicare registration
    • Professional indemnity insurance
    • Clinical supervision
      – Supportive team environment
    • Peer mentoring
    • Modern refurnished consulting rooms
    • Stream of referrals
    • Psychiatry input with our sister practice Oxford Clinic
    • On site educational and developmental assessments
    • Full-time on-site reception services
    • Internet
    • Company email
    • Practice management software
    • Continued professional development offerings as a team
    • Marketing service.
    • Private practice mentoring
    • Career development and company progression
    • Free training in OCRD and Eating Disorders.
    • Working in a well-established clinic with a solid reputation
    • Be part of a larger organisation with sister clinics in Brisbane (double CPD)
    • Attractive remuneration
    • Ability to develop your skills within niche areas
  • Together, let us help those people who are suffering from mental disorders. If you’re interested, please complete the form below and we will reach out to you.

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