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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Effective in Treating Insomnia

Cognitive behavioral therapy is often used in treating substance abuse as a way of getting an individual back on a normal track of life. While it has seen some success in this area, researchers are also finding that it may help those suffering from chronic insomnia.

Science Daily reported that a research abstract presented at the Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies found that 50 to 60 percent of participants in a study of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia experienced remission of their primary sleep difficulty when in treatment.

Lead author, Ryan Wetzler, Psy.D, C.B.S.M. of Sleep Medicine Specialists in Louisville, Ky., noted that the study results suggest that multi-component CBT-I could be an effective approach for people who experience chronic insomnia, even if anxiety and depression are present.

“CBT-I teaches strategies to ‘reset’ the bodily systems that regulate sleep,” said Wetzler in Science Daily. “Since these systems also play a role in regulation of mood, pain and other bodily processes, skills developed through CBT-I may also have a positive impact on mood, anxiety, pain and other associated medical or psychiatric conditions.”

This particular program involved the comprehensive evaluation of a patient’s habits, attitudes and knowledge regarding sleep. Participants were educated on sleep regulating systems, sleep scheduling recommendations, sleep hygiene education, sleep consolidation therapy, stimulus control therapy, relaxation training, cognitive therapy and mindfulness training.

This and other studies into the use of CBT-I show that participants can often times stop taking sleep medications for several nights out of the week or to stop altogether. Those participants who stopped using sleep medications were not only able to get off of the drugs, they were also able to sleep better than they had on the medication.

There is still hope.

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