Sleep is not just ‘time out’ from our busy routine. Most of us need to sleep well to help our bodies recover from the day and to allow healing to take place.

But with increasingly busy lives it’s estimated that we now sleep around 90 minutes less each night than we did in the 1920s.

Lack of sleep can make us feel physically unwell as well as stressed and anxious, and scientists also believe that it contributes to heart disease, premature ageing and road accident deaths.

There are more than 80 different sleep problems listed in the medical textbooks, ranging from the inability to get to sleep (insomnia) to the inability to stay awake (narcolepsy). Many sleep problems are temporary, and you may find the self-help measures below help get you back to more normal sleeping pattern. But sleep problems can also be a symptom of other conditions, such as a problem with your thyroid gland or depression.

Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder, affecting an estimated 20% of people.

Typical symptoms are:

  • problems falling asleep
  • problems staying asleep (so that you wake up several times each night)
  • waking up too early
  • daytime sleepiness, anxiety, impaired concentration and memory and irritability
  • Short-term insomnia, lasting for a few nights or a few weeks, generally affects people who are temporarily experiencing one or more of the following:
  • Stress
  • Change in environmental noise levels
  • extreme change in temperature
  • a different routine, perhaps due to jet lag
  • side effects from medicines

Chronic insomnia, lasting for a month or longer, often results from a combination of factors that sometimes include underlying physical or mental health problems. It can also be due to behavioural factors such as too much caffeine or alcohol or a long-term disruption to your routine such as shift work.

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Coronavirus update

In light of the current situation, we are making changes to the way we deliver services at the moment. One-to-one appointments that would normally be delivered face-to-face will now take place over the phone or through video call. There is no need to call us to confirm – your regular point of contact will call you at the time your appointment was scheduled.

We are also no longer holding groups inside. We’re currently arranging alternatives where possible through considering walking or virtual groups. Please contact your group facilitator, or the centre where the group runs from, for more information.

If you’re worried, think you may have symptoms of Coronavirus or want further information, see the latest advice from Public Health England.

Finally, if you’re struggling through self-isolation, please don’t feel alone. There are local community groups being created all over the country, which you can find here. Alternatively, you can call our community centres in your local area, which you can find here.


Contact us

Due to changes in our working practice, in response to the coronavirus, we encourage you to contact us via email and refer yourself online where possible.

Please note, from the week beginning Monday, 23 March, we are not picking up post at our offices. If you have sent post to us at any time this week, please contact the relevant service to ensure that we have received it:

Manchester – Any queries about your referral or bookings please email us on: pws.manchester@selfhelpservices.org.uk or if you wish to make a referral please go to our website at: www.selfhelpservices.org.uk/Manchester

Stockport – Any queries about your referral or bookings please email us on: stockportpws@selfhelpservices.org.uk or if you wish to make a referral please go to our website at: www.selfhelpservices.org.uk/Stockport

Cheshire – Any queries about your referral or bookings please email us on: talking.therapies.ec@thebiglifegroup.com or if you wish to make a referral please go to our website at: https://www.mytalkingtherapies.com/

Rochdale, Heywood and Middleton – Any queries about your referral or bookings please email us on: thinkingahead@thebiglifegroup.com or if you wish to make a referral please go to our website at: https://www.thebiglifegroup.com/thinkingahead

Tameside and Glossop – Any queries about your referral or bookings please email us on: mindsmatter@selfhelpservices.org.uk or if you wish to make a referral please go to our website at: https://www.thebiglifegroup.com/mindsmatter/

eTherapy Salford and Trafford – Any queries about your referral or bookings please email us on: etherapy.admin@selfhelpservices.org.uk or if you wish to make a referral please go to our website at: www.selfhelpservices.org.uk/etherapy