Do You Struggle With Your Sleep?
Do you have trouble falling asleep? Maybe you have a hard time staying asleep throughout the night.
Are you a light sleeper?
Do you envy your spouse or friends who are “good sleepers” and make it look easy?
You may have tried every insomnia treatment out there. Sleeping pills may help at first, but then they stop working. Or perhaps you are worried about the side effects of sleeping pills. Sleep medication can leave you feeling exhausted during the day and you might be fearful of the long-term effects of taking nightly sleeping pills.
Problems with sleep can affect work performance, relationships and your ability to enjoy life. As sleepless nights pile up, you may become anxious, foggy and even start to have more pain and other physical problems. It can be hard to think straight, concentrate and get through the day at work or school. You may start to feel hopeless and worry that you’ll never get a good night’s sleep. And as your frustration about sleep builds, the more entrenched insomnia becomes.
Do you wish you could find a solution for insomnia that really works for you?
Insomnia is More Common Than You Think
Almost 50% of adults report occasional sleep problems and 1 in 10 experiences ongoing, chronic insomnia that can sometimes last for years. Insomnia can develop for a variety of reasons.
You may have an occasional poor night of sleep here and there due to an increase in work or school stressors. Much of the time sleep goes back to normal until a precipitating factor arises and acute insomnia develops. These factors could be the death of a loved one, a health problem, a challenging trip, or any stressor that interferes with sleep. Over time, changes in thinking and behavior around sleep develop. You may start trying to catch up on sleep, sleep late, or spend more time trying to sleep in hopes of getting more sleep. But these behaviors actually make insomnia worse. This often leads to chronic insomnia, which is insomnia that’s been around for a few months or longer. Many people struggle with insomnia for years.
The good news is, with the support of an insomnia therapist, you can learn techniques to get a better night’s sleep.
Insomnia Treatment Can Help You Develop Healthy Habits
If you decide to participate in insomnia therapy, your therapist will do an assessment and ask you questions about your history of sleep problems. This will help us to understand the factors that are affecting your sleep and allow us to provide tailored strategies to help you improve your sleep.
Our goal is that through insomnia treatment, you will build confidence about sleep. Going to sleep should feel effortless and we want to help you get there. We do that by implementing cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, or CBT-i, an evidence-based approach to insomnia treatment.
What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-i)?
Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, or CBT-i, is an insomnia therapy that does not involve medication. CBT-i is a short-term insomnia treatment that consists of changing your behavior and thinking about sleep. CBT-i is proven to be effective and many doctors are now suggesting CBT-i for sleep problems before any other insomnia treatment.
A large body of evidence, based on over 100 controlled trials, shows that CBT-i improves sleep in 70-80% of those who try it and can also eliminate the need for sleeping pills. CBT-i is proven to be very successful in improving the quality of sleep and it also helps people sleep longer. Research has shown insomnia treatment using CBT-i to be just as effective as sleep medications for insomnia in the short term and is more effective than sleep medications in the long term.
How CBT-i Works
CBT-i has two goals. First, we start by focusing on the cognitive part of CBT-i, which focuses on your beliefs and feelings about sleep and insomnia. We identify the thoughts that are keeping you awake or waking you up during the night. At the same time, we also work on reducing your negative thinking and anxiety around sleep.
The behavioral part of CBT-i helps you to develop better habits through sleep scheduling and specific techniques that improve your sleep drive. You will be asked to track your sleep through the use of a simple sleep diary. Based on sleep diary data, we determine an optimal amount of sleep and we set a bedtime and wake up time that may be different from what you’re used to. Coming up with an ideal sleep schedule is a collaborative effort between you and your therapist.
Every client’s needs are individual and unique, but insomnia treatment with CBT-i is meant to be a short-term therapy. Typically 6-8 sessions are required, though in some cases, extra sessions may be needed. Insomnia therapy is not a long-term commitment.
How Our Therapists Help You
We use our knowledge of how the brain works to help improve outcomes of insomnia treatment with CBT-i. We also integrate other therapies, like EMDR therapy, if clients are feeling stuck or are not improving as much as they would like. Our therapists also are trained in mindfulness practices which are incorporated into insomnia therapy sessions. We keep up-to-date on trainings and sleep science in order to help you get the most out of your insomnia treatment.
Our therapists have a successful track record helping individuals fall asleep more easily, stay asleep longer, improve daytime functioning and overall quality of life. With the support of an insomnia therapist, you can finally sleep better.
You May Still Have Questions About Insomnia Treatment
Can CBT-i Be Done Online?
Sleep therapy using CBT-i can be conducted completely online. Research shows that CBT-i is very effective as an online insomnia treatment. A review of the research in 2016 shows that online CBT-i significantly improves both sleep efficiency and the total time participants spend asleep. In our practice, we provide CBT-i both online and in-person and we achieve similar results.
What if I am Taking Sleeping Pills?
During your first visit for insomnia treatment, your medications will be discussed. Your therapist will ask about what medications you are taking, how long you’ve been on them, and how you feel about continuing with the medication. Insomnia therapy with CBT-i can be done even while you are taking sleeping medication. If you decide you would like to stop medication, your therapist will work with you and your prescribing provider to determine an appropriate tapering schedule while you are working on CBT-i.
What if I Have Other Medical Conditions?
If you have been diagnosed with epilepsy, bi-polar disorder, or are at high risk for falls, insomnia treatment with CBT-i is not indicated for you. But other diagnoses like depression, anxiety, PTSD, chronic pain and other medical diagnoses all respond well to CBT-i. Research shows that many of these conditions also improve as your sleep gets better. Even if you have a sleep disorder like sleep apnea, CBT-i can be used alongside your current treatment. If a sleep disorder is suspected, your therapist will refer you to a sleep medicine doctor for evaluation.
You Don’t Have to Struggle With Sleep Anymore
You may be having a more difficult time with your sleep since COVID-19 started. You may be feeling more stress and anxiety and you notice your sleep has changed. Now is the time to start practicing good habits to help you improve your sleep. Insomnia treatment can be done in the comfort of your own home. If you are ready to take control of your sleep, contact us or call 202-656-3376 for a free consultation.