Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (aka CBT), is a hugely popular holistic solution to various problems, including the severe and chronic stress that stops us getting a proper night’s sleep, and brings with it a whole host of unwanted side-effects that impact both our mental and physical health.
According to the Mayo Clinic: CBT for insomnia can benefit almost everyone. “ CBT for insomnia is a structured program that helps you identify and replace thoughts and behaviors that cause or worsen sleep problems with habits that promote sound sleep. Unlike sleeping pills, CBT-I helps you overcome the underlying causes of your sleep problems”. This makes a lot of sense, as taking pills ad infinitum, and getting hooked on them, is very different to being able to deal with the stressors that are eating away at us, and destroying our well-being.
The 6th Annual Insomnia Awareness Day
March 11th 2019 is the date of this highly popular yearly event, entitled “Solutions for Sleepless Nights.” It is arranged by the American Alliance for Healthy Sleep, the Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine, and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
It is set to put the spotlight on effective treatments for chronic insomnia, such as CBT. Insomnia symptoms cover a broad range of debilitating problems including: having low energy and lacking motivation; feeling irritable or anxious; feeling depressed; having difficulty concentrating; feeling unsatisfied with sleep; and suffering sleepiness or fatigue during the daytime.
“About 10 percent of men and 20 percent of women have chronic insomnia disorder”
American Academy of Sleep Medicine board of directors’ member, Jennifer Martin, PhD, noted that when it is chronic, insomnia can affect how we feel during the day, and that insomnia is more common in: “people who have mental health conditions such as depression”.
How Does CBT-1 Work?
CBT-I is classed as a behavioral strategy, and includes replacing feeling stressed and the fear of not sleeping, with more useful and positive expectations. Everyone one of us is different, and we have to deal with our own personal stressful issues so that they do not take hold of our lives, and consume us in the worst possible ways. To that end, the CBT-I advice that patients are given, is tailored to address every individual’s unique situation, environment, symptoms and needs. Typically, six to eight CBT sessions are sufficient, however, some people need less. In fact, recent research indicates that just one CBT session can drastically reduce insomnia.
The President of the Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine, Donna Arand, PhD, remarked that:
“Cognitive behavioral therapy is an incredibly effective and long-lasting treatment that is associated with changes in underlying physiology”. And went on to state that recent studies using CBT-I imply a strong link between the amelioration of long-term insomnia and cognitive processes’ neural correlates.