Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) is a multi-component treatment that specifically addresses insomnia and its related sleep-wake disorders. CBT-I treatment interventions are guided by current state-of-the-art scientific consensus and directly target the various factors that are contributing to sleep difficulties. CBT-I enjoys strong scientific support and is regarded by the United States’ National Institute of Health (N.I.H.) to be the preferred primary treatment for chronic insomnia (lasting greater than 90 days). CBT-I is more effective than medication in treating insomnia over the long term and the effects are long-lasting. Medications may provide stronger short-term results but carry the high risk of side effects, long-term dependence and rebound insomnia (sleep quality substantially worsens when medication is discontinued).
The behavioral part of CBT-I targets the habits, behaviors and physiological factors that are most likely contributing to poor sleep quality and impaired daytime functioning. The therapeutic focus is on systematically introducing behavioral changes and engaging in a thorough discussion of the rationale of each treatment recommendation. A major benefit of the behavioral aspect of therapy is that it treats the actual underlying causes of a sleep disorder. The cognitive (mental processes) aspect of the therapeutic approach focuses on the examination, management, or modification of thoughts, perceptions, attitudes and beliefs as they might relate to the interference of sleep.
The onset of insomnia can begin at any age and is frequently triggered by an illness, disorder, or significant event that causes physical or psychological distress. Chronic Insomnia is a risk factor for nearly all medical disorders but is especially predictive of clinically significant depression, anxiety and even suicide. The co-occurrence of insomnia with mental disorders is 40% to 50%, per the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). There is a similarly high rate of prevalence between insomnia and the sleep apnea syndromes.
Insomnia is strongly associated with a decline in cognitive function and individuals are more likely to make errors and have occupational and road accidents due to impairments in their concentration and memory. Absenteeism is likely to be higher and productivity lower in work and academic settings. The body is under sustained physical stress with long-term sleep disruption and becomes more susceptible to illness, infection, pain and hypertension.
Effective treatment of insomnia can result in improvements in a broad domain of functioning including mood, anxiety, mental acuity, overall well-being and reported quality of life. CBT-I treatment is brief and is administered over the span of a few weeks or a few months. It is comprised of an initial comprehensive assessment and a limited number of subsequent treatment sessions. Long-term administration of therapy is not required to maintain the clinical gains experienced with initial treatment.
We hope that your review of the information covered on this website regarding behavioral sleep medicine therapies (including CBT-I) reveals that the clinical services offered by Global Insomnia Solutions are both effective and require specific expertise and training in their proper delivery. A course of CBT-I treatment for insomnia is NOT equivalent to “sleep-hygiene” techniques, avoiding caffeine, doing relaxation techniques, etc. Those techniques are likely to be completely ineffective for most patients and can sometimes worsen both nighttime and daytime symptoms.
The November 2016 edition of the peer-reviewed scientific ‘Journal of Behavioral Sleep Medicine’ estimates that there are less than 1000 providers of these types of sleep therapies world-wide. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that primary care physicians (for adults and children) are largely unaware of the effectiveness and even the existence of behavioral sleep medicine therapies. Most individuals have little or no access to these powerful and scientifically-proven treatments in their local geographical areas. Global Insomnia Solutions is hoping to be a part of the change to make these potentially life-changing therapies available to anyone interested in improving their sleep.