Do you toss and turn at night? Can you not fall or stay asleep, despite trying everything you can think of? You’re not alone. More than 50% of adults now complain of difficulty sleeping, half of them chronically. Many people turn to sleeping pills as a result, placing a band-aid on the problem instead of treating the source of the issue. Sleeping pills are not the solution to insomnia. Fortunately, it is possible to successfully treat insomnia using cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT has been endorsed by the National Institutes of Health as an effective and preferred method for treating insomnia.

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a highly effective therapeutic approach that has been used to treat a variety of mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and insomnia. What makes CBT unique compared to other therapies is that it has been heavily researched and empirically proven to provide long-term relief of mental illness symptoms.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is founded on the idea that some of our mental health problems are caused by negative thought and behavioral patterns. CBT focuses on challenging the unhelpful patterns, providing relief from troubling symptoms. While you cannot change your circumstances, you can change the way you react to them.

Research studies on CBT show the following:

  • 75% of insomnia patients experience significantly improved sleep
  • The majority become normal sleepers
  • 85- 90% of patients reduce or eliminate sleeping pills
  • CBT is more effective than sleeping pills

Insomnia can only be treated effectively by addressing the underlying causes of insomnia, which are your thoughts and behaviors. Your negative thoughts and behaviors that are associated with poor sleep are learned and can be unlearned through CBT.


Techniques taught in CBT include:

  • Changing sleep thoughts and behaviors
  • lifestyle habits that will improve sleep
  • Relaxation techniques


  • Individuals with problems falling asleep or waking during the night
  • Individuals who wish to reduce or eliminate sleep medications

What Does CBT for Insomnia Look Like?

CBT for insomnia includes:

  • An initial individual assessment
  • Five individual treatment sessions over a six-week period