Using CBT for Insomnia – What to Expect

Using CBT for Insomnia - What to Expect

Are you struggling with insomnia as a result of living with a mental health issue? Sleep issues are common symptoms of mental health issues like depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, and substance use disorders. Living with sleep issues can lead to a number of negative side effects like exhaustion, cognitive decline, memory issues, immune deficiencies, and more. So, it’s important to address sleep issues like insomnia throughout mental health treatment. One therapy that’s effective in helping people who are living with sleep issues as a result of mental health issues is CBT for insomnia. But, what is CBT for insomnia and what can a person expect from this type of therapy?

What is CBT for Insomnia?

CBT stands for cognitive behavioral therapy. It’s a type of one-on-one therapy that utilizes individual therapy sessions between an individual and a certified mental health therapist to address behavioral issues (like sleep conditions). And, provide methods to address behavioral issues that present as the result of mental health issues.

Approaches to CBT for Sleep Issues

During CBT sessions that are aimed at addressing sleep disturbances, a therapist will identify thought patterns, emotions, and behaviors that may result in sleep issues. Once these thoughts, emotions, and behaviors are identified, patients are given methods that challenge these issues so that the patient can test for better sleep results. Some of the approaches that may be used during CBT sessions can include interventions that touch on mental, emotional, and behavioral components:

Mental: A CBT therapist may work to identify any thoughts that may be attributed to a person’s inability to fall or stay asleep and work on adjusting these negative thoughts about sleep so that a person can get more quality rest.

Emotional: A CBT therapist will help a patient understand that the thoughts, emotions, and behaviors they have that deal with sleep all affect their quality of sleep.

Behavioral: A CBT therapist helps patients better identify behaviors that may be keeping them from getting quality sleep and adjust these behaviors for better sleep.

Techniques Learned in CBT Sessions for Insomnia

During CBT sessions that are focused on sleep, a patient can learn new ways to address the issues that are keeping them from getting the healthy amount of sleep they need. Some of these things can include:

  • reframing negative thoughts that lead to unhealthy sleep patterns
  • identifying and addressing any myths or misconceptions about sleep
  • adjusting any unhealthy behaviors that can impact sleep including watching TV before bed, laying in bed before bedtime, eating in bed, etc.
  • setting a sleeping schedule (waking up and going to bed at the same time every night)
  • learning and practicing relaxation techniques to utilize for better sleep
  • educating patients about why sleep is important for better mental well-being

Finding Treatment That Includes CBT for Better Sleep

If you’re struggling with sleep and believe it’s due to mental health issues, the thoughts you have about sleep, or unhealthy behaviors that result in a lack of sleep, CBT may help. Treatment that includes CBT can help you identify and address why you aren’t getting the sleep you need for better mental well-being. And, give you the tools necessary to tackle your sleep issues. Synchrony Brain Health offers outpatient services that can help people living with sleep issues like insomnia take back control of their sleep. Find out more about our CBT protocol for sleep disturbances service from our website.