Studies Show that Drug-Free Treatment for Insomnia is Effective
Check out this article for more information about CBTi and How it Treats Insomnia.
Everyone knows the frustrating feeling of not being able to sleep at night. But about 10% of Americans struggle with chronic sleep deprivation due to insomnia. Patients diagnosed with insomnia have difficulty falling asleep or going back to sleep at least three nights a week for an extended period of time. Chronic insomnia is unlikely to go away without treatment. Yet the long-term effects of sleep deprivation pose serious health risks.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBTi) is a multi-component treatment that begins with an analysis of sleeping habits, sleep schedules and issues that the person struggles with at night. It is an approved, drug-free method for treating the sleep disorder. CBTi is a structured approach to helping people understand and change the thoughts and habits that are making it difficult to sleep.
This type of therapy requires regular visits with a qualified clinician. The first step includes analyzing your current routine and behaviors. Then, the clinician will advise the patient on how to improve his/her sleep hygiene. Next, the clinician will guide the person through a series of strategies aimed at resolving the symptoms of insomnia in the short and long term.
Watch this video to learn more about how cognitive behavioral therapy works to effectively treat insomnia.
Sleeping Pills Provide Only Short-Term Relief from Insomnia
Sleeping pills are often the first thing insomniacs try in order to get more rest. Whether prescribed by a physician or taken over the counter, sleeping pills can provide relief from insomnia. But it’s a short-term solution. Sleeping pills are not recommended for long-term use and can have dangerous side-effects, including the risk of addiction. Additionally, insurance companies tend to restrict coverage for long-term use of these prescription medications.
CBTi is a different type of solution. It addresses the underlying causes of the sleep disorder, rather than just treating the symptoms. Unlike sleeping pills, is a personalized program focused on changing the way that person organizes the activities in their day, thinks about sleep, and prepares for bed. The approach is effective, but it requires commitment and effort to make it work.
Related article: Opioid Use May Increase the Risk of Sleep Disorders.
CBTi Is an Effective Long-Term Solution
Now, experts in the field of healthcare and science are supporting the application of cognitive behavioral therapy to treat insomnia. Clinical reviews have shown that CBTi is a safe and effective way to manage chronic insomnia. In fact, according to the British Journal of General Practice, multi-component CBTi should be the first treatment approach recommended by doctors.
With just 4 – 8 CBTi treatment sessions, participants saw improvement. Studies have shown that, on average, participants fell asleep up to 30 minutes faster and spent 22-36 minutes less lying awake. Though sleeping pills may be used temporarily in combination with therapy, researchers also believe the effects of CBTi are longer lasting.
Why CBTi Works
The reason that cognitive behavioral therapy is a better long-term solution for insomnia lies in the structure of treatment. Effective therapy works in four steps over time:
- Identifying the causes for their disrupted sleep.
- Modifying thoughts and behaviors related to bedtime.
- Maintaining healthy sleep hygiene.
- Preventing relapse by reassessing symptoms and reinstating strategies as needed.
CBTi is highly personalized, teaching people to understand their particular challenges and address them even after therapy is completed. Clinicians work to understand each person and make tailored recommendations based on their lifestyle. Patients should be able to recognize their own negative thought patterns and learn how to calm the worries which keep them awake. Plus, they learn healthy ways to promote quality sleep which works for their schedule and needs.
Relapse prevention is also a big component of success with cognitive behavior therapy. Insomnia has many triggers; it is important that people can recognize those vulnerabilities and take action to prevent new onset episodes in the future. For example, strategies may include stimulus control techniques, restarting sleep restriction, and not trying to make up lost sleep.
However, those seeking relief from insomnia, must be ready to put in the effort to make therapy successful. It takes time (usually about six weeks) and can make you more tired before you start to feel better. For example, sleep restriction is one common CBTi strategy that requires first limiting the amount of time you can sleep. Then, as sleep quality improves, you are allowed to sleep for increasingly longer periods until reaching the point where you actually feel rested. For those who are already tired, avoiding naps or staying awake until late at night can be very difficult. Patients often feel drowsier and more fatigued in the early weeks of therapy.
Can’t get to sleep? Read: 10 Scientifically Proven Ways to Fall Asleep Faster.
Where Can You Find CBTi Therapy?
Though effective, it can still be difficult to access this type of treatment for insomnia. As a long-term, drug-free option, the potential advantages of CBTi are huge. We expect more people to seek out CBTi as awareness increases among doctors and patients.
Sleep Health Solutions works with people to first properly diagnose their sleep disorder. Then, we can develop a therapy plan together. We have helped many people to successfully manage the symptoms of insomnia through cognitive behavior therapy. By applying our specialized training, we help clients to fall asleep faster and enjoy less disrupted sleep through the night.
Contact Sleep Health Solutions at (330) 923-0228 or online to learn more about this innovative and effective therapy for insomnia.