- Obstructive sleep apnea
Lifestyle and home remedies (2)
- Sleep tips: 7 steps to better sleep
- Napping: Do's and don'ts for healthy adults
Risk factors (2)
- Stress symptoms: Effects on your body, feelings and behavior
- Depression (major depression)
Tests and diagnosis (1)
- Polysomnography (sleep study)
Treatments and drugs (3)
- Insomnia treatment: Cognitive behavioral therapy instead of sleeping pills
- Sleep aids: Understand over-the-counter options
- Prescription sleeping pills: What's right for you?
Insomnia treatment: Cognitive behavioral therapy instead of sleeping pills
Insomnia and other disorders
Insomnia is linked to a number of physical and mental health disorders and substance abuse. Ongoing lack of sleep increases your risk of illness and infection, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and chronic pain. If you have a condition that's linked to insomnia, it needs to be addressed along with sleep problems.
There are a limited number of certified Behavioral Sleep Medicine specialists, and you may not live near a practitioner. You may have to do some searching to find a trained practitioner and a treatment schedule and type that fit your needs. Here are two places to look:
- The American Academy of Sleep Medicine offers information about finding a Behavioral Sleep Medicine specialist on its website.
- The National Sleep Foundation website offers information about finding sleep centers. Many are associated with major hospitals.
The type of treatment — such as group vs. individual — and frequency of sessions can vary, depending on who you see. You may need as few as two sessions or as many as eight or more sessions, depending on your sleep expert, the program and your progress.
When calling to set up an appointment, ask the practitioner about his or her approach and what to expect. It's also a good idea to check ahead of time whether your health insurance will cover the type of treatment you need.
They can't replace meeting with a sleep specialist in person, but you may benefit from books, CDs or websites on cognitive behavioral therapy techniques and insomnia.
They can't provide the same services as sleep specialists, but licensed psychological counselors (psychotherapists) can offer cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to ease psychological concerns linked to sleep problems.
Who can benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia?
Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia can benefit nearly anyone with sleep problems. The therapy can help older adults who have been taking sleep medications for years, people with physical problems such as chronic pain and those with primary insomnia, a condition that exists in its own right. What's more, the effects seem to last. There is no evidence that the therapy has negative side effects.
Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia requires steady practice, and some approaches may cause you to lose sleep at first. Stick with it, and you're likely to see lasting results.Previous page
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- Cognitive behavioral therapy. American Academy of Sleep Medicine. http://www.sleepeducation.com/Treatment.aspx?id=5. Accessed Dec. 1, 2010.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. National Sleep Foundation. http://www.sleepfoundation.org/article/hot-topics/cognitive-behavioral-therapy-insomnia. Accessed Dec. 1, 2010.
- Babson KA, et al. Cognitive behavioral therapy for sleep disorders. Psychiatric Clinics of North America. 2010;33:629.
- Pigeon WR. Treatment of adult insomnia with cognitive-behavioral therapy. Journal of Clinical Psychology. 2010;66:1148.
- Certified behavioral sleep medicine specialists. American Academy of Sleep Medicine. http://www.aasmnet.org/BSMSpecialists.aspx. Accessed Dec. 20, 2010.
- Choosing a CBT for insomnia specialist. National Sleep Foundation. http://www.sleepfoundation.org/article/ask-the-expert/choosing-cbt-insomnia-specialist. Accessed Dec. 20, 2011.