It's Time To Get Restful Sleep Again
It's Time To Get Restful Sleep Again
It's Time To Get Restful Sleep Again
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-i) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Our team of Fort Lauderdale therapists can help you beat insomnia. We offer the gold standard treatment for sleep issues, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for insomnia or CBT-i for short.
You toss and turn night after night.
It takes what seems like forever to fall asleep. You wake up throughout the night multiple times and have difficulty going back to sleep.
You’re tired throughout the day and need multiple cups of coffee to barely function.
You now have anxiety about going to bed because you’re worried about how little sleep you will get.
You worry about how hard it will be for you to function at work or school the next day.
These are the common complaints we hear from patients that struggle with insomnia or other sleep difficulties. Insomnia affects millions of people worldwide, leaving them fatigued, irritable, and unable to function at their best.
What is Insomnia?
Insomnia can be an overgeneralized term. Know that occasional sleep difficulties are not insomnia. Insomnia is a sleep disorder characterized by dissatisfaction with sleep quantity or quality with complaints of difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep that cause impairment in your life.
There are two primary types of insomnia:
- Acute Insomnia: This type of insomnia is typically short-term and often occurs in response to specific life events or stressors. It can last for a few nights or several weeks but generally resolves without intervention as the underlying cause is addressed.
- Chronic Insomnia: Chronic insomnia refers to ongoing sleep difficulties that persist for at least three nights a week and last for three months or more. It can be caused by various factors, including underlying medical or psychiatric conditions, lifestyle factors, poor sleep habits, or a combination of these.
Approximately 10% of the adult population suffers from an insomnia disorder and another 20% experiences occasional insomnia symptoms.
Regardless whether you experience acute or chronic insomnia, or just have occasional sleep difficulties, CBT-i is the preferred intervention.
What is CBT-i?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia, or CBT-i, is a highly effective treatment, based in cognitive behavioral theory, designed to address the underlying psychological variables that contribute to insomnia. These are factors that can make you at risk for insomnia, trigger insomnia, or maintain insomnia.
CBT-i is typically administered by a licensed therapist or psychologist with education and training treating insomnia and sleep disorders.
Unlike sleep medications that focus on treating the symptoms of insomnia, CBT-i was designed to treat the root causes. It is a structured, evidence-based treatment that combines cognitive therapy and behavioral interventions to promote healthy sleep patterns and restore restful nights.
Research Supports CBT-i as the Gold Standard Treatment for Insomnia
Multiple studies have demonstrated the efficacy of CBT-i as the gold standard treatment for insomnia. Research consistently shows that CBT-i produces long-lasting improvements in multiple domains of sleep (e.g., total sleep time, sleep efficiency, nighttime awakenings) with effects lasting even beyond the treatment period.
In fact, CBT-i has been found to be equally or more effective than sleep medications, making it the preferred choice for many healthcare professionals. It is even recommended by the American College of Physicians as the initial treatment for chronic insomnia according to their clinical practice guidelines.
Is CBT-i More Effective than Sleep Medications?
CBT-i is a long-term solution to sleep quality whereas medication may not be. Although sleep medications may offer short-term relief, they come with a range of drawbacks. First and foremost, they often lead to dependence and can have undesirable side effects, including:
- Daytime drowsiness
- Impaired cognitive functioning
- Sleep related behaviors, such as sleep-walking or eating while not fully awake
- Changes in thinking and behavior, such as hallucinations, agitation, trouble remembering events, suicidal thoughts and bizarre behavior
- Daytime memory and performance problems
Most importantly, sleep medications only address the symptoms of insomnia without targeting the underlying causes.
On the other hand, CBT-i provides individuals with the tools and strategies to identify and modify negative thoughts, behaviors, and lifestyle factors that contribute to their sleep difficulties.
By addressing these root causes, CBT-i is not just a temporary band-aid but a sustainable and long-term solution to sleep quality.
Stages of CBT-i Treatment
CBT-i typically consists of several stages that guide individuals toward improved sleep:
- Assessment: The therapist conducts a comprehensive assessment during the first 1-2 appointments to understand the patient's sleep patterns, identify factors contributing to insomnia, and assess the individual's readiness for change.
- Psychoeducation: Patients learn about the principles of sleep and the factors that influence sleep quality. They gain knowledge about sleep hygiene, circadian rhythms, and the role of thoughts and emotions in insomnia. Often, this knowledge empowers individuals and gives them greater confidence in their ability to manage these difficulties on their own.
- Sleep Hygiene: Sleep-promoting habits and routines are established, such as maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, creating a sleep-friendly environment, and avoiding stimulating activities before bedtime.
- Sleep Restriction: This is an essential technique of CBT-i. It involves limiting the time spent in bed to match the actual sleep time, increasing sleep efficiency, and consolidating sleep. Sleep efficiency is simply a ratio of how much time you spend in bed to how much time you actually spend asleep. We want this ratio to be as close to 1:1 as possible. If you spend too much time in bed, and not enough time asleep, this creates ample opportunity to worry and develop anxiety about sleep. At first, your provider will use guidelines to restrict the amount of time you spend in bed, so you are more likely to be asleep during that time. This initially improves the quality of your sleep. As your sleep efficiency and quality improves, your provider will gradually increase the amount of time you spend in bed to get you eventually to your ideal amount.
- Stimulus Control: Patients learn to associate their bed and bedroom with sleep and feelings of calm by following a set of guidelines that promote a strong connection between the bed and restful sleep.
- Cognitive Restructuring: This is another essential and important element of treatment. Negative thoughts and beliefs about sleep are addressed, and patients learn to challenge and replace them with more positive and accurate thoughts. This decreases anxiety and worry to better promote restful sleep.
Relapse prevention: Treatment is typically 6-8 sessions/appointments. The last session focuses on creating a plan for your sleep so you can prevent insomnia from returning. If it does return, you will know what to do. The option to come back to therapy for a few booster sessions is also an option that will be discussed.
Expected Outcomes for Patients That Complete Treatment
Patients who complete CBT-i treatment can expect significant improvements in their sleep quality and overall well-being.
Research shows that CBT-i not only reduces the time it takes to fall asleep and the number of nighttime awakenings but also enhances sleep efficiency and total sleep time.
Below is a summary of improvements to sleep that studies have found after patients complete CBT-i:
- Sleep onset latency (the amount of time it takes to fall asleep): An average reduction of 20-30 minutes
- Nighttime awakenings: Decrease of 20-40 minutes in time wake after sleep onset
- Sleep efficiency: Increases in sleep efficiency ranging from 10-20%
- Total sleep time: Improvements of approximately 30-60 minutes in total sleep time
Furthermore, individuals completing CBT-i report the following improvements during the day:
- Reduced daytime fatigue
- Improved mood
- Increased concentration
- Enhanced overall functioning in their daily lives
CBT-i is not a pill but a powerful set of tools for improved sleep
Unlike sleep medications, the benefits of CBT-i are long-lasting, empowering patients to take control of their sleep and maintain healthy habits beyond the treatment period. It offers hope and relief for those struggling with sleepless nights.
As the gold standard treatment for insomnia, CBT-i addresses the underlying psychological factors that contribute to sleep difficulties, providing individuals with the necessary tools to achieve restful nights naturally.
By understanding the stages of CBT-i treatment and the expected outcomes, you can embark on your journey towards improved sleep and a healthier, more fulfilling life. Remember, quality sleep is within reach, and CBT-i can guide you there. Call us today to get started with CBT-i.
Frequently asked questions about CBT-i
- What is the best treatment for insomnia?
Currently, the first-line treatment recommendation for chronic insomnia is CBT-i. CBT-i can help you manage thoughts and behaviors that are keeping you from falling asleep.
- CBT-i vs ACT
CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) differs from ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy). Both are considered behavioral therapies, but they differ on the philosophy of behavior change science and the interventions for change. A significant aim in CBT is to identify and modify problematic thoughts. In contrast, the aim in ACT is to increase psychological flexibility via the non-judgmental acceptance of painful inner experiences. In other words, ACT patients learn how to let go of the agenda to control or get rid of thoughts and instead focus on the present moment and values-based behaviors.
Our team also offers ACT for insomnia (ACT-i). Learn more about ACT-i works here.
- What are 6 components of CBT-i?
3. Sleep Hygiene
4. Sleep Restriction
5. Stimulus Control
6. Cognitive Restructuring
- What causes insomnia?
Chronic insomnia can be caused by various factors, including underlying medical or psychiatric conditions, lifestyle factors, poor sleep habits, or a combination of these.
- What are the 3 types of insomnia?
Transient Insomnia, Acute (or short-term) Insomnia, and Chronic Insomnia
How to get started:
- The first step is to either schedule a callback or give The Psychology Group a call: (954) 488-2933
- Our practice offers complimentary 15-minute phone consultations. During this consultation we will learn more about your needs and goals. You'll be matched with one of our expert therapists
- Next, you'll meet with your therapist for an initial session. There, your CBT-i specialist will get a very thorough understanding of your unique background, history and what you'd like to accomplish. They’ll explain the treatment plan and collaboratively, you'll both decide next steps