Can’t sleep? Too much on your mind? Don’t just lie there, and don’t pop a pill either. There’s a better way.
“The evidence is quite strong that cognitive behavioral therapy is effective. It works. It’s long-lasting and it has the potential to decrease cost to the health care system,” said Dr. Wayne Riley, president of the American College of Physicians.
What exactly is Insomnia?
“Between 6 percent and 10 percent of U.S. adults have insomnia serious enough to be considered a clinical disorder. It’s more common in women and older adults and can occur independently or be caused by another disease. People with the disorder often experience fatigue, poor cognitive function, mood disturbance, and distress or interference with personal functioning.”
In short, insomnia is a sleep disorder that interferes with your ability to fall asleep, and stay asleep, so you don’t get the restorative sleep your body needs, and you’re left sleepy the next day. In our first article on insomnia, we associate insufficient sleep with a number of chronic diseases and conditions—such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression—which threaten our nation’s health. Besides the serious health effects, insufficient sleep is also responsible for motor vehicle and machinery-related crashes, causing substantial injury and disability each year. In short, drowsy driving can be as dangerous—and preventable—as driving while intoxicated. Oh, and then there’s the impact on your performance at work, school, or in sports. The linked article lists many of the causes too.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Insomnia
Our Austin sleep wellness center offers all sorts of natural & holistic products and therapies for your sleep & stress issues. We start with a personal assessment before recommending products, treatments and coaching. In that way, we’re like personal trainers for sleep & brain health, and CBTi is just one of the things we offer. Intelligent Sleep founder Dr. Bruce Meleski is certified in Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Insomnia, and so is our clinical psychologist Dr. Holland Miller. They both teach free introductory seminars that you can find listed on our Events Calendar, including this one on Rumination.
How Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Insomnia Helps
In our second article on insomnia, we described how CBTi works and our various treatment approaches. While you can do some of this yourself, and we offer tips to get you started, most people need help to stay motivated and help them discover what works best for them. Just remember that investing in good sleep takes a bit of work up front to reverse decades bad habits, but the benefits are lifelong. A sleeping pill may seem like a quick fix, but it’s almost always counter productive and can have dangerous side effects.
Psychology studies show that it takes people an average of 21 days to form a new habit, or break an old one, and that’s why coaching is important. Just as a personal trainer helps keep you focused, motivated, and noticing improvement, the same is true for a sleep coach.
How NBC Concludes
“Although cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia requires substantial effort and can be uncomfortable for patients during the early stages, with persistence this nonpharmacologic treatment leads not only to better-quality sleep but also to improved daytime functioning.” A few years ago, Wayne Caswell modeled The Economic Value of Sleep and, with relatively conservative assumptions, he estimated an average lifetime benefit of more than $1 million. This suggests that prioritizing sleep and making a 6-10 week investment in yourself, with one session per week, can be one of the best investments you ever make.
How CBTi helped Jim Comer
“I’ve long considered myself a poster boy of insomniacs, a sleep disorder that I’ve suffered with for over 40 years. It got so bad that last Fall I met with Dr. Meleski at Intelligent Sleep and was willing to try whatever he suggested. He helped me bring balance to my life, which is important because I’m self-employed and work hard, and there’s always more to do.
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As a Thank You, We’ll send our “70 Tips to Fall Asleep Faster and Stay Asleep Longer.”