Cognitive behavior therapy

CBT for Insomnia: A Promising Treatment for a Common Problem

If you’ve ever struggled to fall asleep or stay asleep, you’re not alone. According to the National Sleep Foundation, “between 10% and 30% of adults struggle with chronic insomnia, and…between 30% and 48% of older adults suffer from insomnia.”

Insomnia is defined as difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Fortunately, there is an effective treatment for insomnia that can help you get the rest you need: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

CBT for insomnia, also known as CBT-I, is a type of therapy designed specifically to treat sleep disorders. CBT-I focuses on changing the thoughts and behaviors that contribute to sleeplessness. In doing so, CBT-I can help people struggling with insomnia learn how to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Studies have shown that CBT-I can be even more effective than medication in the long-term treatment of insomnia. Furthermore, fewer side effects are associated with CBT-I than many sleep medications. As a result, experts consider it a first-line treatment for insomnia.

How Does CBT for Insomnia Work?

CBT targets the thoughts and behaviors that contribute to sleeplessness. For example, people with insomnia often worry about sleep and overestimate how bad their sleep actually is. This exaggerated worry can lead to avoidance of going to bed, which only continues the cycle of poor sleep.

CBT-I focuses on changing these distorted thoughts and negative behaviors through techniques such as relaxation training, stimulus control therapy, sleep restriction therapy, and cognitive restructuring. These techniques can help people with insomnia learn how to fall asleep and stay asleep so that they get the rest they need. 

Does CBT Really Work? 

The short answer is yes! Many studies have shown that CBT is an effective treatment for insomnia. Patients often respond within the first 2 treatments, while others may take 4-6 treatments to see results.  

Additional Steps You Can Take

Along with CBT, you can take some additional steps to improve your sleep quality. Eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise can help to improve sleep quality. Exercise helps to reduce stress and anxiety, which can contribute to insomnia. It is also recommended to avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed.

If you’re one of the 50 to 70 million Americans struggling with a sleep disorder, don’t hesitate to seek help. CBT-I is an effective treatment for insomnia that can help you get the rest you need.

To find out more about this therapy, schedule an appointment with Dr. Bruice. Call (303) 957-6686 or complete the online booking form.

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