Insomnia is not actually a sleep disorder but is instead a symptom of some other condition. For people who suffer from it, however, that knowledge does not make it less disruptive or disturbing. Although some people try sleep medications, the side effects can sometimes be worse than the insomnia itself. Additionally, the pills can be addictive. A non-drug alternative to insomnia treatment is cognitive therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps you change habits that could be contributing to your insomnia. If your sleep specialist recommends cognitive behavioral therapy, here is what you need to know.

What is cognitive behavioral therapy? 

Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, or CBT-I, is a therapy focused on identifying and changing behaviors that prevent you from sleeping. When undergoing CBT-I, your therapist will discuss your symptoms with you and may ask you to keep a sleep diary for a few weeks. This information will help your therapist uncover behavior patterns that may be linked to insomnia symptoms. These findings may help create a treatment plan.  

What treatments are used in CBT-I? 

The techniques your sleep specialist tries depends on a number of different factors, such as the type of insomnia you experience and the patterns you identify in your sleep diary. In some cases, therapy may focus on sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene refers to the lifestyle habits you have that could impact your sleep. These include drinking caffeine too late in the day, exercising in the evening, or watching TV in bed. Other techniques involve sleep restriction, which cuts back the amount of time you spend in bed. Another tactic is remaining passively awake, which means you don’t make any effort to sleep, so you can relax and actually sleep.  

Don’t let insomnia rob you of the sleep you need to stay healthy and feel your best. Contact Sleep Dynamics to find out what kind of sleep testing could help you get the best treatment for your symptoms. Schedule an appointment today by calling (848) 217-0240.