Insomnia is trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, wakening up too early, or needing a medicine to sleep. Insomnia is not sleeping well.
· This guide covers the core features of CBTi. The information included are aspects of CBTi that have been shown by research to be helpful.
· It is designed to be used by anyone who needs help improving insomnia.
· Before starting CBTi it is best to consult with a healthcare provider who can provide an initial evaluation to make sure you have insomnia and not a different type of sleep disorder or a different medical or mental health condition. Your provider can also give you specific guidelines. For example, you may need to work through sleep restriction differently than described here if you have bipolar disorder, another sleep disorder besides insomnia, chronic pain, a seizure disorder or a general medical condition.
· It is also good to use this guide with the support of a healthcare provider.
· Finally, you should spend at least 6-8 weeks going through these topics repeatedly and using CBTi every day. You have probably had insomnia for a long time and it will require some time and effort to re-train your brain to be a good sleeper. It is possible. You can start by reading all the information or read one section each week. Once you finish going through it, restart at the beginning until you are skilled at CBTi. Six weeks is the usually the fastest you can really learn and apply CBTi but it may take longer. Stay with it! CBTi is powerful and helpful.
Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBTi) is a treatment for insomnia. CBTi has been used as insomnia treatment for decades. There is evidence to support CBTi as a treatment for insomnia.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) provides guidance on treating insomnia. Source: Morgenthaler T, Kramer M, Alessi C, et al. Practice parameters for the Psychological and Behavioral Treatment of Insomnia: an Update. An American Academy of Sleep Medicine Report. Sleep. 2006;29(11):1415-9.The AASM defines a standard as something that is a generally accepted strategy which reflects a high degree of clinical certainty. The AASM defines a guideline as a strategy that reflects a moderate degree of clinical certainty.
- CBTi is successful for people with chronic insomnia. CBTi is successful for insomnia related to another problem. CBTi is successful in older adults and people who use sleeping pills. (AASM standard)
- Stimulus control therapy, relaxation training and cognitive behavioral therapy are successful treatments for insomnia. (AASM standard)
- Sleep restriction is helpful for insomnia. (AASM guideline)
The information provided on this website is my presentation of my research on CBTi. The original research articles are cited as “Source:”. It is updated over time as I re-review material or read new material. I also plan to add more information over time.