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CBT for Insomnia

Is getting enough rest a challenge for you? Does difficulty sleeping at night lead to feelings of irritability and performance deficits during the day? CBT for insomnia can help.

The average adult requires 7-9 hours of sleep each night to function well during the day. When sleep is impeded by stress, anxiety, ruminating thoughts, and other psychological conditions, symptoms are felt mentally and physically.

According to the Government of Canada, 1 in 2 adults has difficulty falling asleep or experience disturbances. There is also a correlation between sleep patterns and mental health, with 12.3% of adults who sleep poorly reporting mental health issues.

If this sounds familiar, cognitive behavioural therapy may be the right option for you.

What is insomnia, and how can CBT-i help?

Insomnia is a condition in which people find it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. There are three types of Insomnia, including acute, chronic, and transient. The causes of insomnia vary, and while some physicians recommend medication, most patients find relief through CBT for Insomnia. CBT-I is also the recommended first-line treatment by the National Institute of Health.

Cognitive behaviour therapy, or CBT, is a form of psychotherapy aimed at providing the tools and information you need to identify and replace thoughts and habits that may be impeding your sleep. Learning to distinguish these maladaptive emotions, and respond to them in ways that create positive emotions, can help you sleep restfully without these negative emotions keeping you awake at night.

At CITC, we offer a safe, effective, non-prescription treatment program for behavioural sleep disorders over the course of 5 biweekly sessions. Cognitive behaviour therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) aims to improve your sleep habits and behaviours and is a preferred treatment if you suffer from chronic or acute insomnia. CBT-I has been empirically shown to improve sleep in 70-80% of patients and to be more effective than sleeping pills in the vast majority of patients.

Beginning CBT for Insomnia

Our CBT-I program at the Cognitive & Interpersonal Therapy Centre consists of 5 sessions with a highly trained Registered Psychotherapist specializing in sleep disorders. Each component of the program is tailored to your individual presentation and needs.

We endeavour to maintain a safe and non-prescription solution to behavioural sleep disorders with long-term results. Upwards of 80% of patients who undergo cognitive sleep therapy experience improved sleep without medication.

  • The initial appointment: Consists of a comprehensive sleep assessment and instructions on how to keep a sleep diary.
  • Treatment session 1: Includes the treatment rationale as well as sleep education and cognitive restructuring.
  • Sessions 2-4: Includes stimulus control, medication cessation strategies, sleep scheduling, relaxation techniques, sleep hygiene and relapse prevention.
  • During the last session: You will learn lifestyle habits that improve sleep and help you maintain the changes made during the CBT-I program.

Your Cognitive Sleep Therapy Schedule

Your mental health and sleep cycle are unique to you.

At the Cognitive & Interpersonal Therapy Centre, we create a tailored plan specific to your needs and goals. This plan will proceed over a biweekly schedule. Here is a breakdown of the weekly objectives.

  • Week 1: During the first week of your CBT-I program, you will develop a sleep schedule and learn control techniques regarding sleep stimulus.
  • Week 2 to 4: The weeks following your initial appointment focus more on in-depth cognitive restructuring. This is changing your thought patterns to reduce negative emotions, which could be impeding sleep. You will learn stress reduction techniques and independent coping skills to troubleshoot your sleep patterns on your own when you finish CBT, including sleep restriction therapy.
  • Week 5: During the final week in cognitive sleep therapy, your psychiatrist will help you create long-term lifestyle habits, which will assist you in maintaining the skills and sleep improvements you have made throughout the program.

It is important to remember throughout your CBT journey, and afterwards, you are not alone. Many Canadians suffer from insomnia and find relief through the tools and information gained from CBT-I.

Changing Your Mindset and Habits with Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Insomnia

During your CBT sessions, you will learn various tools and strategies to improve your sleep at home. Some of the ways you can begin changing your sleep habits include:

  • Reducing noise in the space you sleep: Noise has a big impact on sleep patterns, especially if you are not used to noisy environments. Sleeping with the windows open, for example, could expose you to car horns, sirens, voices, and other sounds of your community. Reducing external stimulation is essential to a good night’s’ sleep.
  • Creating a regulated sleep schedule: Sleeping and waking at the same time every day can help your body develop regular rhythms of sleep and wakefulness. This trains your body to sleep when it is supposed to sleep and wake when it is supposed to wake. Aligning your sleep needs with your sleep opportunity can ensure a healthy night of sleep.
  • Avoid stimulants before bedtime: Alcohol, caffeine, and cigarettes all disrupt sleep by stimulating your brain and body. It is best to avoid them before bedtime to allow your brain and body the time to relax and prepare for sleep.
  • Physical exercise: Being active promotes mental and physical health, which increases the chance of successful sleep patterns. Exercising also helps your body burn excess energy throughout the day, which allows you to sleep more deeply and more restfully.

Some individuals are reluctant about beginning a program like CBT because they worry they may not see results. However, as you change your thoughts and habits, you will notice your sleeping patterns begin to improve gradually and naturally.

Insomnia can impede your personal life, work, social relationships, romantic life, and more. Those who have insomnia can experience secondary symptoms like fatigue, headaches, loss of appetite, weight gain or loss, anxiety, mood swings, and depression. Receiving the support needed to improve sleep will cause a chain reaction of positive changes in your life.

Contact the Cognitive & Interpersonal Therapy Centre

The Cognitive & Interpersonal Therapy Centre is here to support you on your journey to better mental health and wellness. Removing the stigma on mental illness to seek support when needed is important, and we are constantly striving to do just that.

If you experience insomnia and want to learn more about cognitive behaviour therapy for insomnia, we invite you to contact the Cognitive & Interpersonal Therapy Centre at 1-866-570-5050. You can also get in touch through our online contact page or by emailing us at info@citicassociates.com.

Click on the link to book a session with one of our team members.

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