Using CBT for Insomnia

Question:  “What is CBT for insomnia, and can I use it to help me sleep better?”

Generally, CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) is one of many therapies psychologists and counselors use to help people address stress, anxiety, worry, and a number of similar problem-causing situations.  Specifically, CBT designed for insomnia (sometimes called CBT-I) is a collection of proven common sense methods for addressing sleep problems.

CBT-based sleep training is very powerful, and it works.  It has helped restore “normal” sleep for many insomniacs.  We use quotes because there is no exact precise “normal” sleep that automatically applies to everyone.  Each of us is different.  What’s most important is what works for your own unique system.  CBT is flexible to adapt to your own specific needs and situation.

CBT is very effective, drug-free, permanent, and has no side effects. It allows you to get to the root of primary insomnia, which for many of us is often some combination of bad sleep habits and excessive worry about the idea of sleep.

CBT works.  A number of clinical studies prove this.  It should be, many sleep scientists believe, the first treatment resource prescribed by healthcare professionals, but unfortunately many medical doctors don’t because insomnia more often than not has nonmedical roots, and so falls out of the area of their primary expertise.  So instead, drugs are often prescribed that unnaturally force sleep.  This unfortunately only treats the symptom of insomnia, while leaving the root causes unaddressed.

As an individual wanting better sleep, you can learn CBT from a number of sources. If you are the self-help type, there are many resources, including books and downloadable online sleep training programs.  If you want more structure, there are counselors that employ CBT methods, professional sleep therapists, certified sleep doctors, and so on.

If your sleeping problems have any sort of medical basis — such as obstructive sleep apnea or clinical depression — then this of course needs to be addressed with a healthcare professional.  But surveys show the vast majority of us have no accompanying medical issue causing sleep problems.  If this is you, then CBT enables you to get to the root causes of primary insomnia, and is well worth pursuing as a permanent solution for better sleep.

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7 Comments on “Using CBT for Insomnia”

  1. […] can learn how to sleep better and manage anxiety through a good CBT-based insomnia treatment like the Sleep Training System.  The STS includes components that help […]

  2. […] we have described above is a form of cognitive restructuring, one of the core components of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT).  If you have been […]

  3. […] is a variation of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that has been proven effective and is recommended as a standard of treatment by the American […]

  4. […] is actually collection of common sense methods to comprehensively address the nonmedical roots of primary insomnia, which refers to sleeping […]

  5. […] Breaking this negative association puts you back in control, not the insomnia.  You are no longer controlled by it.  This method is known in psychology as stimulus control, and is one of the techniques in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) specifically designed for insomnia. […]

  6. […] There a number of variations with this method, one of the core techniques contained in CBT — cognitive behavioral therapy — specifically designed to treat […]

  7. […] Deliberately breaking the negative association between your bed and insomnia puts you back in control, not the insomnia.  This method is known in psychology as stimulus control, and is one of the techniques in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) specifically designed for insomnia. […]

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