Does CBT Help Treat Insomnia?


Sleep difficulties can be frustrating and interfere with your quality of life. You may experience insomnia at some point in life due to various reasons. However, when it becomes frequent, there are more underlying issues than you think. It can feel lonely when everyone else around you gets to sleep peacefully as you toss on the bed throughout the night. In the morning, you feel low now that your body has not had time to recharge. Poor sleep impacts your work, leisure, relationships, and home performance. Therefore, CBT can help treat sleep problems to ensure you get good sleep every day. Let us dive into how CBT helps treat insomnia.

What Does Insomnia Mean?

Insomnia is difficulty falling asleep, maintaining sleep, and waking up early. This lack of sleep interrupts your daytime functions. You may have short-term insomnia for about three months or less and mostly when you are stressed. If the problem persists for more than three months, it becomes chronic insomnia that exists with other conditions like anxiety and depression. Other conditions like parasomnias and sleep apnea also co-exist with insomnia.

The first treatment for insomnia is CBT and particularly CBT-I. The treatment is effective in both short-term and chronic insomnia in adults. The best thing about CBT is that it insists on treatment completion, unlike other forms of treatment. Therefore, if you are experiencing insomnia, the best treatment is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in London. CBT involves a lot of talking to understand how you think, feel, and take action. It helps you understand how thoughts and feelings are related and find ways to replace negative thoughts and feelings.

How Does CBT Help with Insomnia?

CBT treats insomnia by identifying and changing thoughts and behavior that cause sleep problems. You gain better habits that help you sleep better. Therefore, the therapist assesses you to understand your problem and why it keeps happening. You then need to set goals with your therapist on the things you want to work on. The treatment is mostly customized toward your lifestyle and the things you do daily. CBT combines various approaches to help you overcome insomnia. These include:

  • Sleep Hygiene

Sleep hygiene involves helping you become aware of the factors that ruin your sleep and make the necessary changes. You will get education about sleep to help you understand how to go about it.

  • Stimulus Control

This approach helps connect sleep with other factors by helping you increase efficiency. This means being able to sleep more in your bed. This means going to bed and not using your phone or doing other tasks. It also involves reducing the time you spend in bed without sleeping. Therefore, going to bed and getting up requires a consistent time.

  • Relaxation

This part involves relaxing before bedtime and reducing any activity that may lead to sleeping issues. You can relax your body and mind with muscle relaxation, meditation, breathing, or any other relaxation form.


These are several approaches in CBT treatment that help deal with insomnia. In short, you work collaboratively with your therapist to understand what causes insomnia and how it can be changed to something better.

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