Therapy versus pills?

We have all been there, staring at the ceiling wondering why we can’t sleep. For some of us this can become a regular occurrence leading to chronic insomnia which is most commonly treated with sleeping pills from your GP.

Sleeping pills can be effective. As a short term solution, they provide immediate relief during a period of high stress, for example after a bereavement. However, if you have long term insomnia, sleeping pills may not be the answer for you, especially if you have concerns around long term drug use.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for insomnia may be a good choice, unlike other medical treatments for insomnia, CBT looks at the underlying reasons for the insomnia. It requires motivation and willingness to make changes but research shows that 70-80% of people see improvements in their sleep after the treatment, often in just four sessions. During the programme of treatment you can work with your therapist and GP to wean off your medication and learn to sleep well on your own again.

Sam Sethi