People with insomnia often spend too much time lying in bed awake. Sleep restriction limits time spent in bed in order to reestablish a consistent sleep schedule.
This technique is intended to increase the drive to sleep and can temporarily increase daytime fatigue.
Sleep restriction begins by calculating the total time spent asleep on a typical night using a sleep diary. Time in bed is then adjusted to reflect this amount, plus 30 minutes.
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CBT-I focuses on exploring the connection between the way we think, the things we do, and how we sleep. During treatment, a trained CBT-I provider helps to identify thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that are contributing to the symptoms of insomnia.
Thoughts and feelings about sleep are examined and tested to see if they’re accurate, while behaviors are examined to determine if they promote sleep. A provider will then clarify or reframe misconceptions and challenges in a way that is more conducive to restful sleep.
CBT-I is often called a multicomponent treatment because it combines several different approaches. Sessions may include cognitive, behavioral, and educational components.
Here are a few relaxation techniques commonly taught in CBT-I:
Living with insomnia can be a challenge. Fortunately, effective treatments are available that can help people fall asleep faster, stay asleep, and feel more rested during the day.
Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I or CBTI) is a short, structured, and evidence-based approach to combating the frustrating symptoms of insomnia.
Handling your emotions in times of great distress can be one of the most difficult obstacles one could face in life. When facing your emotions you must be able to recognize what will help you recover and what will cause you to go into a downward spiral. Emotions are complex and effect us all differently, these ideas are from my own rockbottom experience.
Practice good sleep hygiene. Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep. Keep consistent wake-up and bedtimes. Keep the bedroom cool, quiet and dark. Use the bed for sleep and sex only. Avoid alcohol, caffeine and exercise before bed. Turn off your screens 30 to 60 minutes before trying to go to sleep.
Don’t chase sleep. Don’t go to bed early. Don’t sleep late. Don’t nap. You’ll diminish your sleep drive, making it even harder to go to sleep the next night.
Don’t go to bed until you’re sleepy. Learn the difference between tiredness and sleepiness. (Sleepiness is when your eyes are drooping.) And limit your time in bed to the amount of time you are asleep, plus half an hour.
Don’t stay in bed unless you’re asleep. Tossing and turning in bed reinforces your brain’s association between wakefulness (and negative emotions) and the bed.
Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a short-term therapy technique that can help people find new ways to behave by changing their thought patterns.
CBT works on the basis that the way we think and interpret life’s events affects how we behave and, ultimately, how we feel. Studies have shown that it is useful in many situations.
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