What is cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia?
Cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia (CBTI) is an evidence-based treatment to cure insomnia.
Cognitive behavioural therapy is based on the idea that your thoughts, feelings and behaviours are all connected. It targets the underlying causes of insomnia and teaches you how to manage these contibuting factors, preventing sleeping difficulties in the long-term without using medication.
Cognitive behavioural therapy has been used successfully for many years in the treatment of other health conditons such as depression and anxiety, but its use in insomnia is relatively new.
Hundreds of research studies support the use of CBTI, and it is now recommended as the most effective treatment for insomnia by the NHS and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (reference).
How does CBTI work?
CBTI is completed over a course of several weeks - it targets both the cognitive and behavioural factors that have contributed to your insomnia. You will begin with an initial consultation to assess whether CBTI is right for you and to get to know your sleep therapist.
During your first appointment we will ask for information about your current lifestyle, your sleeping environment and how you feel about sleep to assess the cause of your insomnia. You will be asked to complete a sleep diary between sessions which will help to identify your main difficulties with sleep, how much sleep you generally get and to find any patterns you may have.
Treatment of insomnia involves many different aspects and these vary from person to person depending on the original cause of their insomnia. Throughout the course, you will be issued with all of the tools and techniques to help you relearn to sleep well long-term. You will be shown every aspect of CBTI but may choose to focus more on some areas than others due to the nature of your sleep problem.
You may already know what the original causes of your insomnia are, or you may require a little help to get to the bottom of why you can't sleep. Usually, the cause of insomnia is related to how you think or feel about sleep. Any negative or anxious thoughts you experience and how you react to them affects how relaxed you feel in bed and therefore how easily your body can fall into a good quality, restful sleep.
You don't need to wait for the perfect timing to start CBTI. Stars Sleep Clinic have designed their courses to fit in with your daily life, no matter how busy you are. The courses have a great success rate because they are user friendly and easy to follow.
CBTI teaches you to become a naturally good sleeper again. You can forget ritualistic bedtime routines, pillow sprays and long lists of rules to help you prepare for sleep - these don't work and many people sleep well without them!
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