Hopefully, it’s not 3 am while you read this.
Spending the wee hours tossing and turning, evaluating the world... it’s the pits. We’re sorry it’s happening. Let’s see if we can’t get a grip on it, without imaginary woolen animals, or pills.
I know you know this, but let’s just touch on it quickly because sometimes it’s good to be reminded. Sleep is so dang important because it regulates:
- Learning and memory
- Metabolism and weight
- Health and Body Rejuvenation
- And beauty, or so they say
Sleep is an investment that we HAVE to make in life, but when that investment suffers, so does consciousness, so does any quality of life. This is why it’s crucial that if we’re not sleeping well, we must fix it, and not by simply taking pills.
OUR ANSWER - CBT
Now hear me out — (CBT) Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Don’t be scared. Let’s break it down.
Cog·ni·tion - käɡˈniSH(ə)n/ noun. The mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses.
Be·hav·ior - bəˈhāvyər/ noun. The range of actions made by the mind and/or body, especially the brain.
Ther·a·py - therəpē/ noun. This can be a scary word but really it’s just the treatment intended to relieve or heal disorder.
And for good measure, because this word can feel pretty negative too:
Dis·or·der - disˈôrdər/ noun. Simply a disruption in the systematic functioning or neat arrangement of...
Quite simply, CBT is merely a talking therapy that helps us manage our mind by changing the way we think and behave.
CBT is most commonly used to treat anxiety and depression, but it’s proving to be extremely useful for other mental and physical health problems as well. You’ve heard it before “Mind Over Matter”?
HOW IT WORKS
CBT purposes that our thoughts, feelings, sensations, and behaviors are interconnected, where one can influence another and together they create cycles or habits that can be difficult to notice and change if needed.
CBT helps us to determine and change these cycles or behaviors in positive ways by busting them down to smaller pieces. While other talking therapies might focus on issues from our past, CBT approaches current issues and looks for practical ways to improve our state of mind on a daily basis.
- Lifestyle - Activity that promotes sleep
- Sleep environment - Is it sleep-conducive?
- Cognition - Racing mind, stressful thoughts
- Establishing new behavioral patterns
- And stop TRYING to sleep because that’s a REAL enemy, isn’t it?!
Insomnia hasn’t been promoted enough as a disorder, so in practice, Doctors are mostly dealing with insomnia by prescribing sleeping pills, that’s all that’s really available to them.
But drugs are addictive and eventually ineffective because of tolerance. There’s a plethora of data showing that when consumed regularly, say weekly for over a year, there isn’t much difference between the person consuming sleeping pills, from the untreated person with chronic insomnia. What’s up with that?!
The big problem here is that CBT involves face-to-face therapy, and it’s not easy influencing the number of people who are suffering from insomnia to see a therapist, so, pills, pills, PILLS.
BUT, IT’S PRETTY AWESOME
CBT for Insomnia not only has lasting benefits beyond the time that pills might help, but the cognitive benefits continue to improve over time and also spill over into other behavioral areas like relationships, creativity, productivity, and being able to balance a spoon on your nose.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING CBT SESSIONS
You’ll hang out with a therapist once a week or once every two weeks. The course of treatments usually lasts between five and twenty sessions, with each session lasting half an hour to an hour.
During the sessions, issues will be discovered and broken down into their separate parts – such as thoughts, physical feelings, and actions.
You and the therapist will pull apart these areas to find out if they're detrimental, and determine the effect that they may be having on each other and on you, and help you work out how to adapt these thoughts and behaviors.
THE PROS AND CONS
(CBT) may not be successful or suitable for everyone.
Some of the advantages of CBT include:
Helpful in cases where medication alone hasn't worked
Can be completed in a short period of time
Can be provided in different formats, including in groups, self-help books and digitally. (Best practiced with a professional)
Even after the treatment has finished, the strategies can be used in everyday life
Some of the disadvantages of CBT to consider include:
Commitment of yourself to the process to get the most from it
It might not be suitable for those with complex mental health issues or learning difficulties
It involves confronting our emotions and anxieties which may increase these feelings for a period of time
It focuses on the capacity to change ourselves
Tends to not address any wider problems that might have a significant impact on insomnia
There are critics who argue that because CBT focuses only on specific issues, it doesn't address possible causes of mental health, such as trauma or an unhappy childhood.
The first step is to take that step to make a change! Then, usually, you speak to your doctor who may refer you for CBT.
We’re here to help. If you have any questions, please wait until morning and give us a call—because we’re sleeping.