You’ve tried warm milk, you’ve counted sheep (and goats and clouds), you’ve read all about melatonin and you’ve meditated. Your doctor says there’s maybe a prescription you can try, but you’ve heard about side effects and other issues. There must be another option, right?
There is and it’s highly-recommended. It’s called cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia or CBT-i.
According to the medical journal Sleep, CBT-i is a program that typically lasts from six to eight weeks and combats insomnia by helping patients to learn how to control anti-sleep thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors. Tactics include restricting daytime sleep, controlling stimuli, productive thinking strategies, ensuring healthy sleep habits, maintaining sleep “hygiene,” and more.
Research shows it works and that the results last. In fact, CBT-i is actually considered by many sleep experts as the go-to (first line) treatment for insomnia with or without co-existing medical conditions (like depression, anxiety, and PTSD).
Need another reason to ask your doctor about CBT-i?
- CBT-i is safer than medications for insomnia, reports the American College of Physicians.
- CBT-i works better than medications for insomnia, adds the American Psychological Association.
The American Psychological Association also notes that CBT-i can play a helpful role in depression treatment, helps people fall asleep in half the time, and can roll-back or abate insomnia in many cases.
So why don’t we hear more about CBT-i?
One reason may be because CBT-i takes individual effort. For CBT-i to be successful, participants must work on changing behaviors and routines.
Another reason why CBT-i isn’t often heard about is that it can be hard to access. There just don’t seem to be trained, experienced CBT-i providers in every community (yet). Thankfully new technologies are helping to solve this problem. By using smartphones, tablets, laptops and other hi-tech tools, CBT-i can now be delivered conveniently nearly anywhere – even if the care provider and the insomnia sufferer are miles apart.
Watch Circady.com and get on the mailing list for more information about CBT-i that will utilize video chat along with an app and mobile, wearable, and home-sensor technologies for interactive, expert, customized sleep care wherever you are. Just think, data-driven treatment from licensed medical professionals in the comfort of your own home… pretty good for the best insomnia treatment you’ve never heard of (until now).
Stay tuned for more information and, in the meantime, I wish you (and me) a restful night.