CBT-I: It’s More Than Just Sleep Hygiene!
By: Tory Tomassetti, Ph.D. | Staff Psychologist
Tuesday, 3:00am, another sleepless night. You’ve watched the hours tick by on the clock- an illuminated analogue clock because you know not to use your cellphone for this purpose anymore. As you lie in bed dreading the day to come, you wonder why the sleep hygiene tools you read about on BuzzFeed aren’t working.
Tuesday night, 11:00pm. You can feel the tension throughout your body. You used that new meditation app to relax before bed, but you can’t quite shake that feeling of wide-awake exhaustion. Will tonight be just like the last?
Wednesday morning, 7:00am. The alarm goes off but you’re already awake—as usual. You shower, get ready for work, and muddle through the day. Your gym bag sits next to your desk, but you just don’t have the energy for a workout. You’re so tired—surely tonight will be your lucky night…right?
If this scene resonates with you, you might be experiencing insomnia. Likely, you’ve tried a number of techniques to improve your sleep: melatonin, sleeping pills, meditation apps, or “sleep hygiene” skills. Perhaps these techniques worked for some time, but your sleep difficulty has returned.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (“CBT-I”) is an evidence-based treatment for chronic sleep disturbance such as difficulty falling or staying asleep. Unlike sleeping pills, CBT-I is a long term, zero side effect treatment option for sleep impairment. While sleep hygiene and relaxation training are important components of CBT-I, they aren’t the full picture. Working with an experienced cognitive behavioral therapist, you will learn how to track your sleep habits, change unhelpful beliefs about sleep, and practice behaviors that will lead to consistent, quality sleep. Working with an experienced clinician over 4-6 sessions, most clients are successful in improving the quantity and quality of their sleep.
If you’re tired of being tired, schedule a consultation with a psychologist who is specially trained in insomnia treatment. This one-on-one approach to your sleep disturbance will allow for an efficient, individualized plan to get you back on track to wellness.