Insomnia Treatment: Benefits of Online CBT for Insomnia (CBTi)
“The worst thing in the world is to try to sleep and not to.”
~F. Scott Fitzgerald
Did you know that 30% of adults will experience some form of insomnia during their lifetimes and that 80% of adults currently have sleep issues that occur at least once a week? It’s true. Even more depressing is that most insomniacs do not seek professional help for four main reasons: (1) they don’t realize they have a “problem,” (2) the thought of seeing a “shrink” terrifies them, (3) they don’t want to be “labeled” or “stigmatized” by society, or (4) they are just too busy to attend the counseling sessions.
Thankfully, there are a variety of treatments that can help you overcome insomnia – even from your home turf. Online psychotherapy has always been a “thing,” albeit a “small thing,” but now with COVID altering everyone’s lives, online psychotherapy has catapulted into a “gigantic thing.” Now, if you suffer from chronic insomnia, you can get cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) right from the comfort of your home!
CBT is the go-to treatment for insomnia. And, thankfully receiving online cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) has never been more accessible or convenient. Online CBT-I is an alternative to sleep medications, which can cause a myriad of side-effects upon waking (i.e. grogginess, a hangover sensation, disorientation, increased fatigue, mental confusion, etc.). It usually takes between 4 and 8 weeks to complete online CBT-I. However, you may experience a noticeable improvement in sleep quality within a few sessions.
What is Insomnia?
Insomnia is a sleep condition that affects approximately 30% of Americans – at least temporarily. Insomniacs have a difficult time falling and staying asleep. Some insomniacs may also experience “wakefulness” (awaking too early) and/or being unable to return to sleep once awake. The lack of sleep causes some insomniacs to experience morning fatigue, inattention, poor memory, irritability or mood swings, apathy, accidents, and/or reduced productivity and/or quality at work or school.
Many insomniacs turn to prescription or over-the-counter sleep aids to help them get some much-needed zzz. But the problem is these solutions are only temporary, which means that these individuals will continue to experience insomnia unless they address the root cause of the “sleeplessness.” Also, some prescription sleep meds like Ambien have side-effects and can be habit-forming, thereby increasing the risk of a prescription drug addiction.
Online CBT-I is a safe alternative that helps you identify your triggers (the reason you are unable to fall and stay asleep), so you can address them. This treatment method also helps reframe how you see your triggers and “sleeplessness,” so you can fall asleep peacefully – and stay asleep throughout the night. In other words, online CBT-I takes away the power of whatever is keeping you up at night and preventing you from falling back to sleep once you awaken – all from inside of your home.
What is Online CBT for Insomnia (CBT-I)?
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT-I) is the go-to treatment for adults suffering from chronic insomnia. Online CBT-I is just the digital (video and/or audio) version of this therapy. Researchers suggest that online CBT-I can improve sleep in almost 80% of insomniacs. CBT-I can also help curb sleeping pill use and abuse in approximately 90% of insomniacs. In fact, three different studies examined CBT-I and found that this treatment approach is more effective than both prescription and OTC sleeping aids.
The great thing about CBT-I is that there are no side-effects and the probability of long-term success is higher because the root cause is addressed. Also, with online CBT-I, you don’t have to worry about finding time to go to a counseling session – all that is required is a webcam or smart device, a microphone and a comfortable chair or couch. This adds an extra layer of comfort, so you don’t feel as anxious about sharing intimate details of your life.
Is Online CBT Beneficial for Insomnia?
According to a Current Psychiatry review, online cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) is an effective treatment for sleep issues, anxiety, and depression. Note: Depression is often a symptom of insomnia. It is common to experience “the blues” when you don’t get enough sleep.
The review focused on in-person and online CBT-I studies and found that online CBT-I is just as effective as in-person CBT-I in improving insomnia and depression symptoms. As a result, researchers concluded that both in-person and online CBT-I are equally beneficial for improving sleep quality years after the therapy.
Similarly, a recent study found that online CBT-I is 2x effective in reducing depression symptoms, as compared to antidepressants. Researchers also found that online CBT-I not only improves sleep quality, but also reduces chronic pain, fatigue, fibromyalgia, PTSD, anxiety, mood swings, and high blood pressure. It also helps insomniacs with substance abuse/addiction issue better manage their co-morbid conditions.
Online CBT-I can help you sleep more soundly at night, regardless of your natural sleep patterns or circadian rhythm. It can also reduce or eliminate nightmares and night terrors and hot flashes – common causes of insomnia.
Contrary to popular belief, prescription sleep aids may not help you fall and stay asleep at night, but there is a good chance online CBT-I will. In fact, studies suggest that prescription sleep aids (i.e. Sonata, Ativan, or Ambien) alone may not be as beneficial as they claim. A 2012 study found that sleeping pills were no more effective than the placebo pills. In fact, participants who took a prescription sleep aid only fell asleep 10 minutes earlier than normal. Moreover, the sleep aid caused people over the age of 65 to experience significant side-effects.
During the course of the study, researchers discovered that prescription sleeping pills occupy the same neurobiological routes as addiction. After examining 33-34 studies, researchers concluded that there is a connection between prescription sleep aids and an increased risk of death. Thus, results suggest that self-guided, internet-based cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT-I) may significantly reduce insomnia symptoms more effectively than sleeping pills.
Researchers also found that the mild-to-moderate benefits of online CBT-I far-outweighed the risk of significant side-effects (i.e. agitation, daytime sedation, dementia, overdose, impaired memory, mental confusion and disorientation, suicidal thoughts, etc.) of prescription sleep aids. Thus, researchers concluded that online CBT-I is an accessible and convenient way to help insomniacs get more sleep at night.
How Does Online CBT (CBT-I) Work?
The goal of online CBT-I is to explore the relationship between your thoughts, behaviors, and sleep habits. During treatment, a trained CBT-I therapist helps you identify and address thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that could be negatively affecting your sleep. Any sleep-related thoughts and feelings are thoroughly examined – to determine if your sleep-related fears and/or worries are realistic. If not, your therapist works with you to reframe how you see sleeping and remove any fears associated with sleeping – so you get a good night’s rest.
The goal of your therapist is to challenge any misconceptions that could be preventing you from getting a peaceful sleep. Treatment often takes 6 to 8 sessions to complete; however, the length of the therapy is largely dependent on your specific sleep issue(s). For instance, your treatment plan may be as short as 2 to 3 sessions or as long as 6 months, depending on your needs and goals. CBT-I (online and in-person) is considered a multicomponent treatment because it involves cognitive, behavioral, educational and homework components.
The ultimate goal of online CBT-I is to provide cognitive-behavioral therapy in the comfort of your home, on your own time, and without hassle. The aim is to change your thought processes, so the “thing” that is keeping you awake loses its power, allowing you to peacefully slumber the night away.
What Does The Research Say about CBT-I?
A 2009 study also found that approximately 80% of insomniacs gained an additional hour of sleep time each night after using an online sleep program. Approximately 40% of these users reported a reduction in “sleeplessness” each night, and almost 36% of the users reported falling asleep more quickly while using an online CBT-I sleep program.
Lastly, nearly 20% of the users experienced a lower level decline (from insomnia) at their jobs. A 2017 study also found that online CBT-I programs may reduce “wakefulness” and improve sleep quality in approximately 81% of insomniacs.
A 2016 study found that insomniacs who supplemented in-person CBT-I with an online CBT-I coaching tool had an easier time completing program tasks and staying on-track in-between sessions. As a result, the users felt that they received a much better outcome because of the combined approach.
A highly effective sleep program that has had tremendous success in helping insomniacs find some much-needed relief is Somnus Therapy CBT-I sleep program.
What is Somnus Therapy CBT-I Program?
Somnus Therapy offers a 6-step clinically-proven CBT-I therapy program, designed for anyone suffering from mild, moderate, or even severe sleep problems. This program is especially beneficial for those who struggle with chronic insomnia and who have had their lives negatively impacted by a lack of sound sleep.
Who Can Benefit From Somnus Therapy CBT-I Program?
If you have a hard time falling asleep, tend to feel sluggish during the day, find yourself constantly waking up throughout the night, and/or experience anxiety right before bedtime – you will definitely benefit from the Somnus Therapy CBT-I sleep program!
How Does the Somnus Therapy CBT-I Sleep Program Work?
This online CBT-I sleep program involves 6 steps.
The steps include the following:
- Step 1: Exploring
This step explores why you have a hard time falling asleep and introduces you to the CBT-I approach.
- Step 2: Understanding
This helps you identify your triggers and the factors that have led to your chronic insomnia or “sleeplessness.”
- Step 3: Learning
During this step, you learn positive bedroom habits that encourage sound sleep.
- Step 4: Challenging
This step teaches you how to challenge or question your negative sleep-related thoughts. During this time, you’ll also learn important CBT tools and strategies you can use to help you cope with your upsetting and continuous sleep-related thoughts and worries.
- Step 5: Quieting
This step involves learning techniques and strategies you can use to “quiet” your busty mind and racing thoughts, so you can fall asleep.
- Step 6: Building
The final step involves “revamping” your sleep pattern. This step involves helping you develop healthier and more positive sleep habits using CBT techniques, so you can combat your sleep problem.
Is Somnus Therapy CBT-I Program Effective?
In fact, 81% of Somnus users reported a significant improvement in sleep quality and a noticeable reduction in insomnia in as little as 6 weeks after beginning Somnus Therapy’s CBT-I Program. And, after 12 weeks, 93% reported that they could fall and stay asleep throughout the night.
What are Some Benefits of Using Somnus Therapy for Insomnia and Other Sleep Issues?
Science and personal testimonies have proven that Somnus Therapy’s CBT-I Program is extremely beneficial for people experiencing a wide-range of sleep issues, due to stress, a diagnosed sleep disorder, depression, anxiety, aches and pains, or any other health condition.
Some of the benefits of using Somnus Therapy’s CBT-I sleep program are listed below:
- A Deeper UnderstandingSomnus Therapy CBT-I sleep program helps you gain a deeper understanding of your thought processes, so you can identify and address triggers that may be preventing you from getting restful sleep.
- A Different PerspectiveSomnus Therapy CBT-I program also helps you gain a different perspective on your sleep issues. How? Through cognitive restructuring. Cognitive restructuring is a CBT-I technique that helps you identify and address irrational, harmful, or negative thoughts that have been keeping you awake, so you can peacefully fall and stay asleep. Somnus Therapy teaches you how to replace your unrealistic and maladaptive sleep thoughts with accurate and more positive ones.
- Awareness & AcceptanceSomnus Therapy uses cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to help you become more aware of your negative thoughts, so you can acknowledge and address them. Once you acknowledge and accept them, they no longer have power over you, freeing you to get the sleep you need.
- An Introduction to MindfulnessHave you ever heard of mindfulness? If not, Somnus Therapy’s CBT-I program can introduce this relaxation technique to you. Studies suggest the mindfulness can reduce insomnia and improve sleep. This CBT-I approach helps calm your busy and hectic mind, so you can relax and fall asleep.
- A Greater InsightSomnus Therapy’s CBT-I sleep program improves how you see your bed in relation to sleep. The aim is to foster a positive association between going to bed and sleeping, so you actually look forward to climbing in bed.
- Guided Meditations
- Relaxing SoundsWho doesn’t love soothing sounds while trying to relax? This CBT-I programs offers you a wide-range of relaxing sleep sounds, binaural recordings and other enchanting audio experiences.
- An Extensive LibraryWhen you sign-up for Somnus Therapy’s CBT-I program, you get over 50 core CBT sessions and over 100 sessions of guided sleep meditations – all you need for a restful sleep!
- Accessibility & AffordabilityWhile some sleep programs cost an “arm and leg” and require frequent trips to a counseling office, Somnus Therapy’s sleep program is not only affordable, but also accessible. You don’t even have to leave your home to get the tools you need to improve your quality of sleep.
- A Personal Sleep CoachPersonal sleep coach anyone? With Somnus Therapy, you get a personal sleep coach! This coach not only offers you valuable support and advice – whenever you need it, he or she is also regularly available to answers your questions, address your concerns, and provide you with some much-needed guidance as you traverse through the program.
Insomnia is a common sleep condition that makes falling and staying asleep, throughout the night, feel like an impossible hurdle to overcome. Although it may feel as if you’re never going to get a good night’s rest, that is simply untrue. You can get the zzzs your body needs to function at an optimal level, but it will take time, effort, dedication, and persistence. There are also tools available to help you retrain your brain so you can drift into a restful sleep. One of the most effective tools is cognitive-behavioral therapy of insomnia (CBT-I).
Never heard of it? You’re not alone. While many may have heard of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), not as many have probably heard of cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I). However, it is one of the best treatments for developing or regaining healthy and positive sleep habits and patterns. One of the best things about CBT-I is you can receive it in-person and/or online.
And, one of the best online CBT-I sleep programs on the market is Somnus Therapy. Somnus Therapy is a virtual sleep aid that can help you identify, address, and replace the disruptive thoughts and behaviors that are triggering or exacerbating your sleep problems.
And, guess what? Somnus Therapy’s CBT-I sleep program promotes sound sleep – all from the comfort of your home or wherever you are! And, unlike temporary sleep meds, Somnus Therapy actually helps correct the “problem” so you don’t have to worry about not being able to fall sleep every time you lie down. It is a more permanent solution to a chronic problem – without side-effects like overdosing, mood swings, and addiction.
So, if you are tired of wrestling in bed, trying to fall asleep or awakening only to find out you are unable to drift back to sleep, Somnus Therapy may be the remedy you’ve been looking!
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