Insomnia and Sleep Disturbance
The Center for Disease Control declared insufficient sleep as a public health epidemic, citing that one third of the adult population reports getting less than the recommended amount of sleep. Many people see sleep as a luxury; however, it is imperative for physical and mental health. Essentially every major organ in the human body or process in the brain is enhanced by sleep and diminished by the lack of it.
Getting adequate and restful sleep is the single most effective thing we can do to reset our minds and body every day. Without the right amount of sleep or good quality sleep, we face many mental and physical health challenges, and this often becomes a cycle that becomes exacerbated over time. Over many years of working with clients, I have seen that sleep is a common factor in the continuation of so many mental health challenges. Someone with a diagnosis of anxiety will experience an influx of symptoms when they aren’t sleeping well, or a client with a great deal of stress feels even less able to cope with it when they don’t get enough sleep. This is why I am so passionate about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia!
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) is a specific treatment focused on tools to help clients fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and feel more rested during the day. CBT-I is a short, structured, and evidence-based treatment that helps by identifying feelings, thoughts and behaviors that are contributing to insomnia or other related sleep disturbances. Techniques involve five primary focuses:
- Assessment and Functional Analysis – This step involves obtaining specific information relevant to each individual’s personal experience with sleep and the characteristics that make it challenging. This information will be used to create an individualized “prescription” for sleep.
- Stimulus Control – So often people with insomnia see the bed as a place of stress and restlessness. This step is focused on teaching the brain that the bed is a happy and relaxing place.
- Sleep Restriction – I like to think of this more as Sleep Consolidation. This is the most effective part of CBT-I and the focus and priority at this stage is increasing sleep efficiency.
- Relaxation Training (optional)
- Sleep Hygiene (optional)
Although the length of sessions can vary depending on the individual, CBT-I is typically effective in 6-8 sessions. and can be done as the sole focus or incorporated in ongoing treatment.
Amanda Spriggs is trained in CBT-I. Click the link below to get started with treatment!