Does CBT for insomnia really work?

In the past 20 years there have been over 100 trials showing that at least 70% of people obtain lasting benefit to their sleep as a result of CBT. And it’s not just their sleep that improves, they also report feeling more refreshed during the day, higher levels of concentration, improved mood and reduced anxiety around sleep.

CBT for poor sleep addresses the cognitive and behavioral factors which may contribute to the maintenance of poor sleep. Both the behavioral and the cognitive techniques used within CBT will help to increase our body’s natural drive to sleep, enabling people to both get to sleep and stay asleep.

CBT also helps by investigating and challenging long held and often unhelpful beliefs about sleep. These beliefs can cause people to feel more anxious than necessary about how much sleep they need and in turn, make it harder to sleep well.

Research is ongoing but as of 2016, the American College of Physicians now state that CBT for insomnia is more effective in improving sleep then medication.


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