Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia

If you are having trouble sleeping, you are not alone.   Sleep difficulties are an extremely prevalent health problem, with about 33% to 50% of adults reporting regular difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.   Prolonged sleep disruption contributes to a variety of health problems, including cognitive impairment, reduced immune function, metabolic imbalance, anxiety and depression.

The most effective nonpharmacological treatment for chronic insomnia is cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-i).   CBT-i produces results that are equivalent to sleep medication, with no side effects, fewer episodes of relapse, and a tendency for sleep to continue to improve long past the end of treatment.  Whereas sleeping pills mask the symptoms of insomnia, CBT-i promotes a genuine learning process that restores and maintains the body’s natural sleep mechanism.  The CBT-i process involves learning skills to quiet your mind, relax your body, develop positive expectations about sleep and engage in lifestyle practices that support your body’s natural circadian rhythm.

Typically CBT-i takes about 6-8 weeks to produce a positive, sustained improvement in sleep.    During the course of treatment, you keep a detailed sleep diary which I will review with you at each session.   I will provide you with systematic guidance and support during the course of therapy to help you implement the CBT-i procedures.    Once sleep has improved significantly, a follow-up session can be helpful to reinforce and sustain the gains you have made.