Sleep is essential for both physical and psychological health and wellbeing. Nevertheless, many people struggle with poor sleep, for instance by experiencing difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or sleeping too much or too little. Dysregulated sleep is associated with fatigue during the day, difficulty with concentration and productivity, and decreased problem-solving ability. Poor sleep is also associated with depression, anxiety, and a compromised immune response–making people more susceptible to illness.
Talk therapy can be effective toward improving sleep. By gathering a full picture of a person’s daily functioning, sleep routines, stress level, and other contributing factors, a psychologist can help create a personal plan to restore healthier sleep. Our approach includes modifying sleep schedules, teaching stress management techniques, and improving so-called sleep hygiene. In addition to talk therapy, some people may need the attention of a medical specialist: we regularly collaborate with physicians and other providers when necessary, to deliver an integrative approach.
Dr. Carrera helps her clients explore how their sleep and current work/life alignment affect each other. She led stress management workshops through the Biofeedback Center at Iowa State University. At UC Berkeley, she led groups for students to learn how to relax their bodies and settle their thoughts as they prepare for sleep. Clients working with Dr. Carrera can also explore the various social and cultural messages they receive about sleep hygiene. She incorporates body-based, mindfulness-based, and compassion-based exercises in session. One example of an intervention is her guided meditation for the Breathe project at Northwestern University.Read full bio »
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