Insomnia is a common problem characterized by trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or getting restful sleep, despite the opportunity for adequate sleep. People with insomnia may take upward of 30 minutes to fall asleep and report that they are only receiving a few hours of sleep most nights. Insomnia may be diagnosed as a stand-alone issue or symptomatic of another physical or mental health issue.

Insomnia is characterized by trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, and it is generally accompanied by other symptoms that may include:

  • Disturbed sleep

  • Waking too early

  • Daytime drowsiness

  • Irritability

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Difficulty concentrating

Long-term insomnia is often associated with recurring stress or mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety. Insomnia is often associated with:

  • Traumatic life events

  • Dysthymia or major depression

  • Generalized anxiety disorder

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

  • Bipolar disorder

  • Attention deficit disorder

Insomnia may also be related to:

  • Medical conditions

  • Medications

  • Changes in environment, sleep habits or physical lifestyle

  • Regular caffeine or alcohol consumption


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia, often called CBT-I, is an approved method for treating insomnia.  CBT-I is aimed at changing sleep habits and scheduling factors, as well as misconceptions about sleep and insomnia, which perpetuate sleep difficulties. 

CBT is what we call an 'evidence-based therapy', meaning that it has been shown to be effective in controlled scientific clinical studies. The earliest research in fact goes back more than 30 years, so several decades of evidence has accumulated to show that CBT can teach people how to fall asleep faster, stay asleep and feel better during the day.

CBT-I is proven to be the most effective first-line treatment for adults with chronic insomnia. It improves sleep in 75-80% of insomnia patients and reduces or eliminates sleeping pill use in 90% of patients. And, in three major studies that directly compared CBT-I to sleeping pills, CBT-I was more effective than sleeping pills. CBT-I also has no side effects and maintains improvements in sleep long-term, and new research shows that CBT-I doubles the improvement rates of depression compared to antidepressant medication alone in depressed patients with insomnia. It also reduces pain, fibromyalgia, substance abuse, and PTSD in insomnia patients with these co-morbid health problems.

The National Institute of Health state-of-the science meeting on insomnia concluded that CBT-I is a safe and effective means of managing chronic insomnia and its effects. CBT-I sessions are 50 minutes and generally 1-6 sessions are needed. Scientific studies have also shown that poor sleepers generally would prefer a practical approach based on CBT-I compared with taking sleeping pills. Indeed, the evidence is that CBT-I helps most people achieve sustained long-term improvements in their sleep, whereas the effects of sleeping pills are mostly short-term. On the basis of such findings, advisory bodies, advocate CBT-I as the preferred option for persistent poor sleep problems.

CBT-I is recommended as the first-line treatment for insomnia by professional organizations such as:

* The National Institutes of Health,
* The American College of Physicians,
* The American Academy of Sleep Medicine,
* The British Association for Psychopharmacology. 

I will implement CBT-I techniques and modalities in a timely manner to get you sleeping better quickly.