Home > Symptoms > Sleep problems

Sleep problems


Everyone has a sleepless night sometimes. For hours you stare at the ceiling and just don’t fall asleep. If sleep symptoms persist then you may have a sleep problem.

When do you have a sleep problem?

You don’t immediately have a sleeping problem if you happen to have slept badly for two nights. You only speak of a sleep problem when you suffer structurally from insomnia and this also affects your daily life negatively.

Not everyone suffers from the same sleep complaints. Perhaps you spend hours staring at the ceiling and do not fall asleep. Another person suddenly falls asleep at random times during the day. Both disrupt sleep quality differently.

If symptoms persist and recur, you may have a sleep disorder.


How do sleep problems arise?

A sleep disorder is usually the instigator of your sleep problem, especially if your symptoms persist. But problems with sleep can also arise from psychological complaints, or pain.



The most common characteristics of sleep problems are:

  • Difficulty falling asleep or not being able to continue sleeping
  • Waking up too early
  • Feeling tired and sleepy during the day
  • Sleeping at unusual times
  • Unusual behavior while sleeping such as sleepwalking, nightmares, teeth grinding
  • Less energy
  • Difficulty with environmental stimuli


Other characteristics

  • Difficulty remembering things
  • Not getting into the dream phase, making you more tired the next day
  • Being irritable and more emotional
  • Little or increased appetite
  • You may experience your surroundings more intensely

If these sleep problems persist for more than a few weeks, you may have a sleep disorder that requires treatment. In children, sleep problems can lead to behavioral problems similar to ADHD.



The main risks and consequences of sleep problems are:

Physical risks

Mental and emotional risks

Impaired performance

  • Lethargy and lack of energy
  • Poorer performance at work or school
  • Increased risk of accidents due to decreased alertness

Other risks

Long-term sleep problems increase the risk of both physical and psychological complaints and disorders.


When to seek help?

We recommend seeking professional help when long-term sleep problems interfere with daily functioning. Do you recognize yourself in any of the following situations? Then get help.
  • If sleep problems persist for more than a few weeks.
  • If you feel tired, irritable or sleepy during the day and daily activities are no longer possible.
  • If you suffer from concentration problems, decreased interest, irritability, tension complaints or gloominess.
  • If self-help to improve your sleep hygiene does not help sufficiently.


More information

Find out more about insomnia and what a poor sleep rhythm does to you. Do you recognise any of the sleep problems and keep having a poor night’s sleep? The advice on how to improve your sleep quality may offer a solution.

  • phone-icon

    A psychologist will help you discover whether you have a sleep disorder and what treatment is appropriate for your problem. Speak to a psychologist by calling +3185-0294610

  • help-icon

    iPractice works with Blended care. This means that online support is interspersed with offline contact with a psychologist. Once every one to two weeks, you’ll visit an iPractice psychologist on site for a 45-minute consultation. Online support is weekly.

  • medical-icon

    Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is regularly used to discover if you have thoughts that disrupt your sleep pattern.

Carlos has extensive experience with complaints such as: depression, PTSD and sleep problems. Within the treatment process Carlos focuses on becoming more aware of your pitfalls and learning to make the most of your strengths and skills. For sleep problems he uses CBT techniques, among others.
carlos hoogenboom ipractice psycholoog
GZ-Psychologist Carlos Hoogenboom

iPractice offers everyone:

  • arrow-icon Reimbursed care with a rating of 9+
  • arrow-icon Immediate help without waiting
  • arrow-icon Free advice without obligation

Psychologists specialized in sleep problems

Janneke van der Steen-Patberg

maartje smakman ipractice psycholoog

Maartje Smakman

Katherina Vourtsis

Annelies Otto

Would you rather have the support of a professional?

Contact one of our psychologist today without obligations. YOu can talk about your feelings and symptoms and get information about a suitable programme for you.

Make an appoinment