Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia or CBT-I is recognised as one of the most effective forms of treating anyone who is troubled with a sleep disorder that isn’t rooted in a medical condition.
CBTI is seen as more effective than ‘sleeping pills’ which only focus on fooling your body into a state of sleep rather than resolving the underlying issue that is preventing you from falling asleep naturally.
What is the nature of your insomnia?
- Are you suffering, struggling to fall asleep when you go to bed?
- Do you wake during the night and then can’t get back to sleep?
- Do you suffer from anxiety during the day, especially as the evening comes, knowing that you may be facing another broken night’s sleep or perhaps no sleep at all?
- Do you feel that you have suffered with ‘poor sleep’ for years and that you have never been a ‘good sleeper’?
- Is this, leaving you feeling exhausted and struggling to get through each day?
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBTI) will help you sleep using the best evidence-based insomnia treatment.
Why CBTI rather than a sleeping medication?
If you have ever suffered from prolonged bouts of sleep deprivation or insomnia, you will know that ‘feeling of desperation’ to get a good night’s sleep. It’s totally understandable how tempting the idea of simply swallowing a pill and getting a solid night’s sleep, must be.
The problem with this solution is … it isn’t the solution to the problem!
Pills only fool your body into overriding its ability to be ‘awake’ but it doesn’t solve the underlying reason that is the root cause of the sleep issue.
What is the cause of my insomnia and can therapy help to resolve it?
Sleeping disorders can be caused by anxiety, stress, and depression, and in turn can then trigger these same emotions, as a result of your broken sleep pattern, thus you end up in a vicious cycle.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia is an effective way of treating the underlying problem rather than just the symptoms, helping you develop and maintain a healthier sleeping pattern for good.
CBTI breaks the cycle of anxiety, stress or depression leading to bad sleep leading to more anxiety, stress or depression.
Medication or sleeping pills simply deal with the symptoms and not the cause of poor sleep.
In fact, taking ‘sleep medication’ can worsen the insomnia or sleep issue over time and leave you even more dependent on ‘sleeping pills’, or worse other forms of coping that you might be tempted to try.
Can I have CBTI if I have been prescribed sleep medication?
There are times when you must use the medication prescribed, notably when you are undergoing medical treatment that requires you to remain asleep for specific reason. If you have been advised by your GP or consultant to take a sleeping medication for a specific period of time, please always follow their instructions.
CBTI can be used in conjunction with any prescribed sleeping medication and will always assist rather than hinder.
What is CBTI (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia)?
Cognitive-behavioural therapy for Insomnia can improve your quality of sleep by changing your behaviour before bedtime as well as changing the thoughts (the cognitive bit) that you have, that may be keeping you from falling asleep.
CBTI focuses on improving relaxation skills and changing lifestyle habits that impact your sleeping patterns.
CBTI is a combination of different therapies and is not the same as sleep hygiene or a counselling therapy. CBTI is a structured programme of tested and proven techniques involving sleep education, stimulus control, sleep scheduling, relaxation techniques and cognitive therapy.
There are two principal components of CBTI – cognitive and behavioural. The cognitive aspects help you manage worries and anxieties related to your insomnia, and the behavioural aspects identify and change the behaviours that you’ve developed, often in response to having insomnia in the first place.
CBTI works by helping you overcome the underlying root cause of your sleep problem. The programme helps you to use your own body clock and your sleep drive to control your sleep pattern.
CBTI shows you how to use techniques that address factors sustaining sleep problems, such as anxiety or poor sleep scheduling. It also helps you strengthen the connection between your bed and sleeping, helping sleep to become an easier, more automatic process.
How effective is CBTI as a cure for my insomnia and poor sleep?
CBTI has undergone many studies and has a large evidence base that provides scientific stats to show its effectiveness, and is recommended as the preferred first-line treatment for insomnia by the NHS.
CBTI has also been shown to be as effective as sleeping medications in treating insomnia, but the effects of CBTI are more durable in the long-term and without the side-effects associated with many sleeping medications.
Benefits of using CBTI to help your sleep
- Fall asleep faster
- Experience better quality sleep
- Experience more consistent sleep with less periods of wakefulness through the night
- Wake feeling more refreshed
- Improved overall health from getting better quality sleep
- See an increase in your energy levels during the day
- Reduce or eliminate ‘sleep anxiety’ before bedtime
- Learn techniques that will help you control stress and anxiety throughout your day
Will CBTI cure my insomnia?
CBTI treatment is always bespoke, individually tailored to you and your own specific sleep difficulty and circumstances.
To achieve this, a comprehensive sleep history interview and questionnaire assessment is done in the first session. You may be asked to complete a daily sleep diary during the course of CBTI session.
How long until I experience improvements in my sleep?
This varies from person to person and depends on different things such as how long you have had insomnia. Many clients report an improvement within the first few days. For chronic insomnia, substantial and lasting improvements are typically experienced within 4 weeks of the start of a 5-week course of CBTI treatment.
Take the first step to a better night’s sleep with CBTI
Research shows again and again that the effectiveness of the therapy or counselling is affected by the relationship you have with your therapist or counsellor. It is therefore important that you find someone who you feel comfortable with and whom you can build a trusting relationship.
Useful help and advice on insomnia and sleep
© Brian Cotsen