Insomnia and dreaming of sleep

Insomnia and trouble sleeping

Insomnia and broken sleep are common problems that we work with at Sandymount Psychotherapy, and like many other symptoms, a problem sleeping can be caused by many different things. Stress at work, anxiety, depression, PTSD, even low self-esteem - all can have an impact on our sleep. There is often racing, repetitive and intrusive thoughts, and the feeling that we cannot ‘switch off’. Clients will frequently speak of replaying the day’s events over and over in their minds, constantly fixing on a bumbled social interaction or some perceived slight from a colleague or loved one. These repetitive thoughts can be very distressing and can prevent a good, restful night’s sleep that is so important for our health. The consequence is that people wake up feeling tired, worn down and less able to handle the challenges of the day ahead. 


Closely related to the problem of sleep is the question of dreams. Dreams are often strange, even disturbing things that in certain circumstances can disrupt our sleep and carry over into our waking lives. The relevance of dreams to the work is a common question about psychoanalysis, and it is a topic that seems to intrigue people. What do they mean? Do they tell us anything useful? Are they just random images or is there something more to them? There have been numerous studies and hypotheses concerning dreams, including a recent German study that highlighted an increase in the erotic content of dreams in recent years and what might be behind this dream ‘trend’. The problem with interpreting dreams and their content on such a literal level is that, firstly, it assumes dreams mean what they appear to mean; and that secondly, these ‘meanings’ are universal. This is not the case. Like a good cryptic crossword clue, dreams are never what they first appear to be, and require a less intuitive approach if they are to help us understand some of the issues they may concern. As these issues are unique to each and every person who dreams, then each element in a dream will mean something different to different dreamers. Dreams are mental acts, thoughts that occur whilst we sleep, and consequently are often another view of the things that we struggle with whilst awake. The problem is, however, that just because we can see everything doesn’t necessarily mean we can understand it, and it is here that psychotherapy, and specifically psychoanalysis, can help. Dreams can often help us to work with and talk about things that are difficult or painful to comprehend whilst awake. 

Psychotherapy and Counselling for Sleep

With increasing demands on our time and attention from work and electronic devices, sleep has never been more problematic, yet our understanding of the importance of sleep to our physical and mental health has never been greater. A good night’s sleep is essential, and if something in our mental life is preventing us from achieving that then a psychotherapist or counsellor can help you to work through those problems and wake up fresh and ready for the day. 

Get in Touch

To speak to someone about getting help for insomnia or any other issue, please, contact us to make an appointment.