Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I)

CBT for Insomnia has been shown to be a very effective treatment for insomnia and consists of several different components. Treatment starts with an initial assessment to identify possible factors contributing to insomnia which often includes a sleep diary. After a full assessment, we will make a treatment plan together to help you attain your goals, which may include longer sleep, more restorative sleep, waking up less frequently, and feeling more rested during the day. Possible components of CBT-I that may be part of the treatment plan include:

  • Stimulus Control Therapy. Retrain your brain that nighttime and your bedroom is for sleeping.
  • Relaxation and Mindfulness Training. Sleep shouldn’t be hard work, and learning to stop battling against being awake can be very useful. Mindfulness and relaxation tools can help you turn on your relaxation response, relax your body, and manage anxiety, worry, and stress.
  • Biofeedback. Thermal biofeedback gives you information about your body’s stress response and assists you in learning how to turn on the relaxation response. Biofeedback is often used in conjunction with mindfulness and relaxation training.
  • Sleep hygiene. Learn to set up your environment to maximize the potential to get good sleep. We will also look for problem behaviors and create habits that make falling and staying asleep easier.
  • Cognitive Therapy. Learn to identify, challenge, and work skillfully with thoughts and beliefs that may be contributing to insomnia.
  • Sleep restriction therapy. Sometimes, reducing the number of hours you are in bed helps to consolidate sleep so that it is less fitful and more refreshing. As your sleep quality and efficiency improve, you will slowly increase the amount of time you spend in bed until you reach your goal.

Many people with disorders like sleep apnea, periodic limb movements, restless legs syndrome, also have insomnia, and can benefit from CBT-I. However, these conditions need to be treated by a physician and you should seek treatment before starting CBT-I.