Therapy Can Cure Insomnia (And May Last Longer Than Medication)

Therapy Works as Well as Medication for Insomnia—and May Last Longer

Sleeping pill medication is the quickest fix for insomnia. But a form of talk therapy works just as well, and is likely to be a long-term rather than a short-term fix.

Photo by Timothy Krause

Cognitive behavioural therapy has been recognised for years as a good treatment for insomnia. A recent analysis published in Annals of Internal Medicine concludes that, across 20 studies in adults, the therapy is consistently effective at treating insomnia. One of the authors told NPR that the results were as good as what sleeping pills usually give, although the studies didn't directly compare therapy and pills.

"A medication just puts a blanket over that anxiety and helps people get rest," [author David] Cunnington says. "But cognitive behavioural therapy addresses the core problems, challenging people's thinking around sleep. It can actually break the cycle of chronic insomnia."

With this type of therapy, typically you'll meet with a sleep psychologist for four to six sessions, and talk about sleep: why you have trouble with it, and how you can set yourself up for better Z's. The take-home techniques involve relaxation techniques and creating bedtime routines. Read more at the link below for more on the latest sleep science.

To Beat Insomnia, Try Therapy for the Underlying Cause Instead of Pills [NPR]


Comments

    Four to six sessions..at $250 a pop, with no rebate.

      Or around 40-50USD from this site I've seen mentioned in other articles about this http://www.cbtforinsomnia.com/

      Not sure how successful it'll be, but I've just paid for the course. Waking up around 2am most nights is not good and I'm willing to give it a try.

        Let me know how you go, I have been through a round with CBT and had no luck yet.
        I would kill for proper sleep.

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