Have you ever had trouble falling asleep or woke in the middle of the night and started checking the clock to see how many hours you have left until morning? Do you calculate the hours you need to function well the next day and start to worry? You may think about how awful you will feel, how you will not have the energy to take care of what you need to do, or most certainly will fail your exam. Does this help you fall back to sleep? If it does, great! Keep worrying! If like the rest of us, it actually keeps you awake you may want to consider trying cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (abbreviated CBTi).
CBT for Insomnia:
CBTi can teach people how to fall asleep faster, stay asleep and feel better during the day even if you don’t have the “perfect” night sleep. The goal is to establish healthy sleep patterns so falling asleep and staying asleep become automatic and natural.
The techniques learned in CBTi help address factors associated with insomnia (like racing thoughts, worry, and negative emotions). Unlike sleeping pills, CBTi helps you overcome the underlying causes of your sleep problems and can help you reduce or eliminate the need for medication.
Dr. Steph, MD is a sleep specialist who writes a blog all about sleep. Here is a great post she wrote: 5 Steps to Remove Worries from Bedtime
CBTi is evidence-based therapy shown to be effective in scientific trials. Some studies show 70% of people who do CBT for insomnia obtain a lasting benefit. They can have sustained improvements whereas effects of a sleeping pill are often short term.
Online Resources for Sleep:
I have compiled a list of some online resources and phone applications which have been found to be helpful in treating insomnia. Online resources are a great option for people who don’t have a local practitioner who practices CBTi or who want to try treatment on their own. These are not the only programs available and resources are continually being developed.
Online CBT for Insomnia: Sleep Improvement Programs
CBT for Insomnia Phone Applications:
Mindfulness and Meditation for Sleep: Phone Applications
Simply Being– Guided Meditation for Relaxation:
Insight Timer– Meditation:
In addition to the links above, I recommend the following products and books to help improve your sleep and treat insomnia.
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