Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) is proven to be the most effective first-line treatment for adults with chronic insomnia.
CBT-I has a very high rate of effectiveness rate with lasting results.
Studies show that when compared to sleeping medication, CBT-I was more effective and had better lasting results.
The American College of Physicians recommends CBT-I as a first-tier Initial Treatment for adults with chronic insomnia.
Improvement is typically rapid; people often show substantial recovery in 3 - 5 sessions.
CBT-I fixes sleep problems using a series of changes in sleep-related behaviors. CBT-I identifies and eliminates sleep-blocking habits that were learned over time or that may have been started with the intention of fixing sleep problems.
CBT-I focuses on addressing 4 main factors that contribute to the stubbornness of insomnia:
This set of instructions addresses conditioned (learned) arousal. It is designed to strengthen the bed as a cue for sleep and weaken it as a cue for wakefulness. It addresses sleep and wake time and how to effectively transform the sleep space into a powerful trigger for sleep.
A terrible name for a very helpful tool! This step is designed to eliminate middle night awakenings and to decrease time spent waiting for sleep onset. Gradually, successful sleep time is increased until sleep deficit effects are gone. Usually, people experience marked improvement in the quality of sleep after this step occurs.
REDUCING SLEEP-INTERFERING AROUSAL
This includes a variety of relaxation techniques, stress management skills, and reducing sleep-related worries. Use of cognitive therapy to reduce arousal by helping patients shift from "trying hard to sleep" to "allowing sleep to happen."
TAKING THE BIOLOGICAL CLOCK INTO ACCOUNT
Bed time and rise time should fit with your circadian clock, the biological process that naturally and automatically helps keep us asleep during the night. When the desired bedtime and wake times are not synced with your circadian clock, interventions can help shift the circadian clock to be more helpful to you. Therapeutic bright light is one such tool.