Can’t Sleep? Try Cognitive Behavioral

Therapy for Insomnia

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a standard treatment for chronic insomnia according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) usually combines several clinically proven interventions tailored to each clients particular needs. Possible interventions include: stimulus control therapy, sleep restriction therapy, relaxation training, cognitive therapy, sleep hygiene education and other interventions.

Can Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia help me?

CBT-I can help people who experience:

  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Difficulty staying asleep
  • Waking up too early
  • Poor quality sleep

Most people have insomnia at some point in their lives. Usually it happens during times of stress and goes away in a few days or weeks without treatment. Professional help is needed when insomnia lasts for months or even years. Untreated insomnia causes daytime functioning problems such as fatigue, irritability, headaches and difficulty with concentration and memory. Long-term, chronic insomnia may also be associated with depression, drug and alcohol use, and heart disease. Clinical studies show Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia is as effective as medication in the short-term and more effective in the long-term for persistent or chronic insomnia.

What happens during treatment?

Treatment for insomnia starts with a proper diagnosis. An in-depth clinical  interview, questionnaires,a sleep diary completed at home for 1-2 weeks and if necessary a referral for medical tests are often part of the evaluation. This information will be used to form a two-part strategy combining talk therapy and lifestyle changes.

I use a series of strategies in therapy to break the cycle of insomnia and help clients recognize and change patterns of thoughts and behaviors that can contribute to sleeping problems. Treatment also focuses on eliminating problem behaviors and environmental influences.

What are the benefits of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy of Insomnia?

  • Treatment is often short-term (about 6-8 sessions)
  • Minimal side effect profile
  • Research has shown improvements in sleep are as good and in some case better than the best sleeping pills
  • Treatment benefits are long-lasting
  • Can be successfully used to treat insomnia occurring with many other medical or psychiatric disorders