One on One Sleep Therapy for Insomnia

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I)

What is CBT-I?

Short-term or ‘acute’ insomnia is often triggered by a one-off stressful event, a combination of smaller stressful events or an underlying stress on the body (such as pregnancy or menopause). It is completely normal that stress can trigger a sleepless night. Think how well you would expect to sleep if you found out your loved one was in the emergency room – not very well! Insomnia is our bodies natural response to give you more time to be awake to deal with a stress.

However, if we have night after night of poor sleep then we start to make subtle changes to our sleeping habits as well as how we think and feel about our sleep – and it is those changes that often cause your insomnia to stick around. These ongoing thoughts and behaviours are the root cause of most cases of chronic insomnia.

Cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) is a combination of techniques designed to address these thoughts and behaviours and revert them back to a sleep-friendly setting.

What can I expect from CBT-I?

CBT-I is delivered through weekly or bi-weekly sessions over a period of approximately 8 weeks.

Sleep specialist Tracey will conduct CBT-I with you one-on-one through online video sessions Experience effective insomnia treatment online with expert guidance.

During the first session together I will ask you many questions about your current and past sleeping habits as well as how you are coping during the daytime. I will ask you other important health information and try to gather a full picture of your current health problem.
I will explain to you all about normal sleep physiology: what makes us fall asleep, what keeps us asleep and what are all the wonderful things that happen to us during sleep. I also explain fully how insomnia starts and why it never goes away. It is by understanding these processes that help connect the dots on why you feel the way you do.
Throughout the program we will track your progress and so you will be able to see clear patterns in your sleep and how you are progressing week to week.
Otherwise known as sleep consolidation, sleep efficiency training reduces the amount of time spent in bed to more closely resemble the amount of time you’re actually sleeping. This is an important step and it helps to reset your sleep drivers putting you back in a normal sleep rhythm.
When you have chronic insomnia the bed can often become a place where your body triggers wakefulness (which often leads to further stress, worry and anxiety). Patients often describe getting sleepy watching TV or reading a book but as soon as they get into bed they’re suddenly wide awake again. Stimulus control aims to combat this trigger and re-teach you that your bed is a place to fall asleep quickly!
The things that keep you awake at night can be difficult to ignore. You may be over analysing a conversation you had with your boss or you may be thinking of the million things you need to do in the days to come. Cognitive control can address these things and it aims to remove them from your night-time routine.
Anyone who has ever had difficulties sleeping has probably jumped on google and typed in ‘tips to sleep better’. Unfortunately, there is a tonne of mis-information out there and companies trying to sell their sleepy tea or something else claiming to solve all your problems. Sometimes these ‘solutions’ cause more damage than good, so together we will go through some helpful tips to implement not only in bed but in your wake time to improve the overall quality and quantity of your sleep.
Often when you’re lying awake in bed trying to sleep your mind is stuck ‘on’ and you feel you just want to tell you brain to shut up and shut down. Thought distraction techniques help you quiet your mind and lead it down the path to sleep.
Sometimes our mind and imagination can be our worst enemy! Dealing with dysfunctional beliefs will address (and help correct) certain ways of thinking that are unrealistic and inaccurate with regards to your sleep. Dealing with dysfunctional beliefs will help correct these inaccuracies by showing that our opinions may not as accurate as we so firmly believed.
Sometimes when we can’t sleep we start thinking of the next-day consequences of not getting any sleep and these consequences can start to snowball. Our brain works very differently at night and it isn’t always easy to think logically. We will discuss how to deal with these runaway thoughts and tame them to a minimum.
Eating healthy is one thing, but falling asleep takes so many different vitamins and minerals and if our diet isn’t always delivering everything our sleeping bodies need. We will discuss some diet points and make sure your current food intake is everything it needs to be!
I heard some of you groan as your read that one. Exercise is of course immensely beneficial to our health and sleep. There are however, better times and ways to exercise to promote a good nights sleep. We will discuss your daily movements as well as some other small changes you can make to your daily routine in order to improve your sleeps benefit.
Stress will come and go in our lives despite our best efforts to avoid it. So we will discuss ways that we can manage it on a more regular basis without letting it build up to the point of exploding.
Everyone relaxes in different ways and what works for you, may not work for the next person. We will discuss ways to relax and different techniques you can use when you need to pump the brakes on your situation.
Once your sleep is normalising we need to make sure it stays that way! We will discuss some great ongoing methods you can use to make sure your insomnia doesn’t return, and if it did, ways to get rid of it again!
If you are committed, CBT-I is proven to improve sleep despite other health conditions you may have such as anxiety, chronic pain or depression. It has also been proven to not only help you get more sleep, but feel less anxious and stressed with regards to your sleep.