Cognitive behavioral therapy is the first line treatment for chronic insomnia that you may have never considered, reports U.S. News and World Report.
And although the treatment isn’t new, there’s growing recognition of a tailored therapeutic approach used to change a person’s thinking and behavior that has lasting benefits for the majority who undergo it: cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. Most who undergo four to eight sessions of CBT-I experience a significant reduction in their symptoms – namely the time required to fall asleep, the amount of time spent awake or both – notes Michael Perlis, director of the behavioral sleep medicine program in the department of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania.
While experts note that sleep medication, prescribed in combination with CBT-I or alone, is another option, CBT-I’s “durable results” – generally continuing after a person stops the therapy – make it an optimal approach. “It is recommended as the first line treatment,” Perlis says.
It’s not just mental health professionals advocating for the treatment either, but the medical establishment. The American College of Physicians led the way in guidelines published in 2016. “ACP recommends that all adult patients receive cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) as the initial treatment for chronic insomnia disorder,” the medical society asserted.