Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of psychotherapy in which negative patterns of thought about yourself and the world are challenged in order to alter unwanted behavior patterns. It is useful for the treatment of disorders such as depression or insomnia and an approved method for treating insomnia without the use of sleeping pills.

Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia is both a safe and effective means of managing chronic insomnia. Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia generally means visiting a clinician weekly to give you a series of sleep assessments. The clinician will also ask you to complete a sleep journal and work with you in several sessions to help you change the way you sleep.

There are many different reasons people develop insomnia. Sometimes post surgery patients who are on heavy pain medication or narcotics find themselves dealing with insomnia due to medication reasons. Even after they have stopped taking the medications they still find themselves having trouble sleeping. Often times post surgery patients who developed insomnia have problems when going back to work or school. Eventually these people find themselves so exhausted that they can barely make it through a workday.

Often times when people experience severe symptoms of insomnia they begin looking to pills or supplements to help them treat the problem and get back to normal life. People who have chronic insomnia often times can’t find relief in just over-the-counter pills and supplements, so then they go to their doctor for help. Even with prescribed medications it takes a long time for someone with chronic insomnia to find relief. After someone with insomnia finds a good medication usually their HMO or insurance only covers it for a set amount of time, and sometimes these non-sleepers can become addicted. This is often the point that people turn to cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, to help them find a real solution.

Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia isn’t a fast and easy chair, although it really does work. Many patients find in the first several weeks that they are no better off than they were before they even started getting treatment. The therapy involves patients staying up very much past their bedtime and learning to be extremely sleepy and tired when they actually do go to bed. Once they come back to the Dr. and report a full seven days of good sleep, the Dr. allows them to go to bed slightly earlier. This process continues until they are on a good sleeping pattern. Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia includes sleep hygiene education, which is basically a list of things that you should and should not do in order to keep your hard work paying off.

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