5 Core Components of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-i) is a form of therapy that has been proven to be effective in treating insomnia. It is based on the idea that the long-term improvements in sleep are the result of the patient learning to support and promote their body's natural sleep mechanism. CBT-i, led by a Psicoterapeuta, consists of five key components: sleep consolidation, stimulus control, cognitive restructuring, sleep hygiene and relaxation techniques. The cognitive aspect of CBT-i helps individuals identify and change any beliefs that may be preventing them from sleeping well. This type of therapy can help people control or eliminate negative thoughts and worries that keep them awake.

The behavioural part of CBT-i helps people develop good sleep habits and avoid behaviours that prevent them from sleeping soundly. CBT-i is a treatment that usually lasts between three and eight sessions and is conducted with a psychologist who has experience in treating sleep disorders and insomnia. It is important to note that modern CBT-i consists of five main components, rather than a single technique. People often report having “tried everything”, including working with a psychologist while they were sleeping, but they may have only used or been exposed to one or two of these five components. When people have had trouble sleeping for three months or longer (chronic insomnia), part of what contributes to ongoing problems is the change in thinking and behaviour around sleep.

Behavioural instructions are used to limit time in bed to match the perceived duration of sleep, which increases the desire to sleep and further reduces waking time in bed.