Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia, or CBT-i, is an approved and evidence-based method for treating insomnia by aiming to change sleep habits, thoughts and perceptions about sleep, and misconceptions about sleep that perpetuate insomnia. The National Institute of Health concludes it is a safe, all-natural, and effective technique that effectively manages chronic insomnia and it's effects. CBT-i is the only scientifically proven non-drug insomnia treatment. It improves sleep in 70-80% of patients and is more effective than sleeping pills, without the side effects that sleep medications can have.
CBT-i can be started while on, or off sleeping medications and individuals can come to CBT-i with goals of coming off of their sleeping medication after the treatment and/or staying on the sleeping medications after the treatment. All that is asked is that there is no change to the current medication routine while CBT-i is being conducted, to minimize any confounding elements during the behavior change program.
An individual coming in for CBT-i can expect to attend anywhere from 1-6 weekly sessions lasting for 50 minutes. Many individuals see improvement in their sleep in the first 3 weeks.
The program includes the following:
A comprehensive sleep assessment and interview
Tailored and personalized sleep therapy plan
Weekly sleep diaries completed by participant to gather data about individual sleep patterns
Psychoeducation around evidence-based interventions to promote healthy improvements in sleep
Relapse prevention plan to maintain change over time and upon completion of treatment course
Auricular (Ear) Acupressure Bead therapy as an optional complimentary treatment to promote wellness, relaxation, and sleep
Auricular Acupressure Beads
Auricular Acupressure Beads are a tool used to promote relaxation and stress reduction. Based on the premises of Auricular Acudetox, or Ear Acupuncture from the National Acudetox Association (NADA), Auricular Acupressure beads are utilized in a similar way as the 5 point acupuncture protocol used as a complementary service for individuals who are intersted in promoting better sleep, reducing cravings (e.g., substance use, food addiction, electronic addictions etc.), and reducing anxiety. The National Acudetox Association (NADA) promotes a program in which a nationally certified acudetox specialist uses up to five, small acupressure beads on the surface of the skin at designated points in each ear. The beads can remain there for up to 1 week prior to being replaced. The beads, in contrast with the auricular acupuncture needles, prodcue a mild, prolonged effect.
Mindfulness, Meditation, & Relaxation Training
Many people suffer from being unable to quiet their minds before bed and are plagued with to-do lists, stressors, worries, and being unable to slow down the momentum from their busy and often stressful days. Mindfulness, meditation and relaxation training are effective techniques that can be easily learned and practiced at home, that can help to target these specific areas of sleep difficulty.
Mindfulness is a state in which a person cultivates an open and attentive focus on the present moment. When you're mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience. Research shows that regularly practicing mindfulness can improve well-being, lower stress levels, and lead to improved psychological functioning and sleep.
Meditation is a practice in which an individual quiets the mind in an effort to create space and peace within. There are many different forms and styles of meditation that can be explored in treatment. Meditation has many important benefits for the mind, body and soul, and can help both prevent stress from getting into the system and release accumulated stress in the system. Health benefits such as lowering blood pressure, reducing pain, increasing serotonin production, improving immune system, and increasing energy levels are just some of the benefits of a daily practice, while decreasing anxiety, stress, and improving sleep are further benefits that daily meditators report.
Relaxation Training is also something offered for individuals suffering with sleep difficulties and can include a variety of techniques, methods, processes, and activities that help a person relax. Research shows that these techniques can reduce pain levels, improve sleep, and reduce anxiety, stress, and anger.