Using CBT To Help With Insomnia

Ensuring that you get a good night’s slInsomniaeep is important for everyone. Not sleeping properly can have a major impact on your mood, your day and your
health. Insomnia is a disorder that can disrupt a sleeping pattern that can lead to a lack of sleep. Everyone suffers with insomnia from time to time, some longer than others.

While there are medical treatments for insomnia, they are intended for temporary use and the body may become used to sleeping pills making them ineffective.

CBT-I, or Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Insomnia, is an alternative, non-drug approach to aiding in a restful night’s sleep. It can also be used to treat chronic insomnia by aiding in overcoming underlying problems relating to sleep, understanding sleeping patterns and what might affect them.

How can CBT-I help with insomnia?

CBT-I focuses on behavioural patterns with sleep. It can help you recognize habits that cause insomnia and address the ‘mental’ factors associated with it. A sleep therapist with

CBT training can help you challenge the negative emotions that are often attributed to a disrupted sleeping pattern.

The following are techniques that a sleep therapist will suggest to you that can help improve your sleeping pattern as well as encouraging a rest full night’s sleep;

-Stimulus Control

This technique can help develop a structured sleep and wake up time and enforces the mind to use bed for sleep only. It coaches the mind to structure a consistent bedtime, by conditioning yourself to go to bed and sleep only when unable to stay away. Using the bed for recreational purposes can cause the mind to create an association between the bed and wakefulness.

-Sleep Hygiene

Changing certain lifestyle habits can improve the quality of sleep. Habits that influence sleep such as consuming caffeine before bed, alcohol and smoking can have detrimental effects on sleeping. CBT-I can help you recognize this habits and how best to avoid them close to bedtime. This technique also guides you on how to wind down properly to promote a good night’s sleep.

-Creating a better sleeping environment

Using this technique, guides you on how to create an environment that will promote sleep. For example, removing your TV, a dark room, a moderate temperature and anything that will cause the brain to stress, such as clock watching can have a negative impact on the quality of sleep.

-Paradoxical Intention

Insomnia can occur through fear of not being able to sleep. This technique, through psychological persuasion of ‘staying awake’ can encourage letting go of that worry and lowers sleep anxiety. It is a good technique that helps get around the mind blocks that prevent sleep.

A sleep therapist with CBT training may use all the methods mentioned above to help you overcome insomnia. With careful guidance, they can help you improve your sleep and structure a proper pattern. During sessions, the therapist may ask you to keep a sleep diary, which will help keep track of your sleeping patterns and how they have improved. For more information, please click here

By Harry Price

Harry Price lives by the sea and has 3 dogs that keep him occupied in his space time with long walks by the sea.