What is Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I)?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) is a type of psychotherapy that is designed to help individuals who have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep at night. CBT-I is considered to be the most effective and long-lasting treatment for insomnia.
CBT-I typically involves a combination of behavioral and cognitive strategies that are tailored to the individual’s specific sleep problems. These strategies may include:
Sleep hygiene education: This involves teaching individuals about good sleep habits, such as keeping a regular sleep schedule, avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bedtime, and creating a comfortable sleep environment.
Stimulus control therapy: This involves limiting the time spent in bed to only sleep and sex, and associating the bed with sleep rather than wakefulness.
Sleep restriction therapy: This involves limiting the amount of time spent in bed to the actual amount of time spent sleeping, in order to increase the efficiency of sleep.
Relaxation techniques: This involves teaching individuals relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or visualization exercises, which can help to calm the mind and body before sleep.
Cognitive therapy: This involves addressing negative thoughts and beliefs that may be contributing to the individual’s sleep problems, and developing more positive and realistic thoughts about sleep.
CBT-I is typically delivered over several weeks, either in individual or group sessions, and may involve the use of sleep diaries to track progress. With consistent practice and commitment to the strategies learned in CBT-I, many individuals experience significant improvement in their sleep quality and overall well-being.
Shervan K Shahhian