Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I)
What is this?
Insomnia can be a difficult sleep disorder to live with making it hard to fall asleep, stay asleep, or get back to sleep.. With effective sleep therapies it can be manageable. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) is a therapy program that helps you identify and replace thoughts and behaviors that cause or worsen sleep problems.
CBT-I can benefit anyone with sleep problems. CBT-I can also help people with physical problems, such as chronic pain, or mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety.
How Does CBT-I Work?
CBT-I works because the primary cause of insomnia is a "too active" awake system in the brain. With treatment focusing on the way we think, the things we do, and how we sleep providers are able to determine what is contributing to the symptoms of insomnia.
CBT-I treatment often combines several different approaches in which sessions may include cognitive, behavioral, and educational components. Treatment usually takes multiple sessions to fully determine triggers.
- The cognitive part of CBT-I teaches you to recognize and change beliefs that affect your ability to sleep
- The behavioral part of CBT-I helps you develop good sleep habits and avoid behaviors that keep you from sleeping well.
- The educational part of CBT-I helps you understand the connection between thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and sleep in relation to CBT-I.
Is CBT-I Effective?
CBT-I is something that needs to be maintained. It can take time to learn and practice the skills learned in treatment. It has shown to be just as effective in people with short term insomnia as well as people who suffer from chronic insomnia.
In some patients, CBT-I is more effective than prescription medications. Unlike medications, CBT-I addresses the underlying causes of insomnia rather than just relieving symptoms. Some patients however can see the benefits using a combination of both.