Insomnia Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioural therapy is a science and using these methods requires training at a university. Treatment methods have been developed for most mental disorders, such as depression, anxiety disorders, and also for insomnia.

Scientific research has repeatedly proven the efficiency of CBT treatment methods in the treatment of insomnia.

We shall name the significant contributors from influential research teams: professors Colin Espie from Oxford University, Charles Morin from Montreal University, Allison Harvey from California University, Michael Perlis from Pennsylvania University, Simon Kyle, and Soili Kajaste. Different CBT-I techniques have been implemented and developed further within 30 years.

After identifying sleep rhythm and co-morbid disorders as well as thoughts and feelings that might disturb sleep, required changes in bedtime shall be determined and skills for coping with certain thoughts and attitudes shall be taught as necessary. The client shall make the changes himself, according to the given guidelines.

Usually, there are several meetings at 2-4 week intervals. The therapist and client shall determine the number and objective of the meetings together. In case of complications, they shall find solutions together and change the activity plan in the meetings. The benefits are long-term because the learned skills can be put into operation again, if required.

 

Options

Based on scientific research, CBT-I is the most efficient treatment for insomnia.

 

Indications

Repeated symptoms of insomnia:

  • Difficulties falling asleep – inability to fall asleep at the desired time, within half an hour.
  • Problems with sleep duration – sleep is too short.
  • Repeated difficulties with sleep constancy – waking up at night, waking up too early in the morning.
  • Disturbed sleep quality – sleep is not refreshing.
  • Inability to sleep.
  • Daytime fatigue and a disturbed feeling.

Feeling disorders associated with insomnia:

  • Sleepiness, tiredness, and exhaustion.
  • Attention disorders, trouble concentrating, absent-mindedness.
  • Decreased reasoning ability, judgement, and working speed.
  • Frequent worrying thoughts about sleep.
  • Changing moods – increased anxiety, worrying, mood swings, irritability, and uninhibitedness.
  • Bodily symptoms – eyelids feel heavy, head is foggy, palpitations, and pain in the heart area.

 

Procedure

CBT-I psychotherapy consists of two parts: changes in behaviour and working with thoughts. The number of therapy sessions depends on the individual. On average, 4-6 meetings.

 

Behaviour part

  • Links between sleep behaviour and place and environment related to sleep shall be strengthened: sleep period becomes more unified due to less time spent in bed; this is called limiting the time spent in bed.
  • Sleep diary is used.
  • Daily lifestyle is reviewed and gradually changed, if necessary, offering support for this purpose.
  • If necessary, the effect of changes in behaviour is studied by testing these, support is provided.

 

Dealing with thoughts

  •  the existence of attitudes that obstruct healing are studied
  • help is provided to change obstructing thought patterns, with the teaching of different techniques for this purpose
  • coping cards and behaviour diaries are used as helping tools
  • methods that help to increase motivation for making changes are used
  • relaxation methods are taught

 

 

Preparations

PLEASE NOTE! Before coming to the appointment, please fill in and take with you a sleep test questionnaire and keep a sleep diary for at least two weeks.