CBT-I is a short-term, evidence-based psychotherapy treatment for insomnia. Treatment focuses on thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that may affect how well you sleep. CBT-I requires an initial assessment and 4 individual sessions to be effective. In some cases, extra sessions may be needed, but you may also experience improvements in less than 4 sessions. Each session will last about 50-55 minutes long.
CBT-I is one of the most studied and effective therapies for Insomnia. Research shows CBT-I to be at least as effective as medications for insomnia in the short-term and is usually more effective than sleep medications in the long-term. For this reason, many medical professional organizations such as the American College of Physicians consider CBT-I as the primary treatment choice for Insomnia Disorder.
The goals of CBT-I are to help you fall asleep, stay asleep, and improve your daytime functioning and quality of life as a result of better sleep at night. Daytime improvements often include increased alertness and energy. The treatment goals are based on a breadth of scientific knowledge of the body’s natural sleep system.
You might benefit from CBT-I if you:
- Have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep for at least last 3 months
- Experience difficulties with concentration or attention or memory, fatigue, and irritability,
- Cancel activities either because of being too tired or out of fear that such activities will interfere with sleep
- Do not keep regular bed times and/or wake times
- Spend large amounts of time in bed, but not sleeping
- Spend time in bed or during the day worrying about an inability to sleep
- Fall asleep prior to bedtime, but feel wide awake or “wired” when getting into bed
You may continue ongoing psychotherapy for other issues such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, etc. while participating in CBT-I. In fact, some research shows other mental health issues may improve in the process of CBT-I treatment due to the significant healing impact of sleep on daily functioning. Discontinuation of sleep medications is not necessary to participate in CBT-I. However, if your goal is to reduce or discontinue sleep medications, your prescribing and therapy providers may work together with you to create an effective plan to reach this goal with success.
To learn more about CBT-I or schedule an initial assessment, contact Dr. Smitha Bhat