Ask Doug: Sleepless nights

Doug Berry
Doug Berry.

THE Northglen News wants you to pick our local neurofeedback practitioner’s brain.

We are, in conjunction with Doug Berry, running a new column in which the Durban North resident and professional counsellor, will answer all your

questions related to training your brain.

If you are having difficulty studying, sleeping, or focusing at school or university or even emotional issues that you are struggling to overcome, then simply Ask Doug.

Email your question to with Ask Doug in the subject line.

We would love to know who you are, but if you want to remain anonymous, that’s okay, just mention that in your email.

Every week these questions will be printed in the paper and Doug will reply on the Northglen News website at

This week’s question is:

Hi Doug. Thank you for giving me such an opportunity.My daughter was in an abusive relationship for many years and as a result I have to rely on sleeping pills at night. Will I ever be able to stop taking these as I have exhausted all other avenues?

Hi Bev,

 Firstly, let me just say that it takes a lot of determination, strength and love to support someone who has been in such a situation and has managed to move away from it. Secondly, please excuse if my answer is in any way vague, as to be honest, this kind of thing usually requires a little more detail.

If I understand correctly from your email, you are facing a certain amount of secondary traumatisation or residual anxiety as a result of her abusive relationship. I’d be curious to know what avenues you have tried, aside from the sleeping pills. If the reason for your poor quality of sleep is trauma or anxiety, there are a few different methods you can try:

  •  TRE (Trauma and Tension Releasing Exercises)
  • Interpersonal Counselling
  • Alpha-Theta Neurofeedback
  • Guided relaxation
  • Meditation
  • Diet change
  • Laughter therapy
  • Change your exercise routine

While these are some of the avenues you can try, it’s definitely worth speaking to a counsellor or psychologist, who can help to identify the root cause of your poor sleep, then work out possible solutions in conjunction with you.

I hope this has been helpful.

Regards, Doug

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