Insomnia Solutions

Every adult will eventually experience a long period of sleeplessness at some point in their lives. However, a significant number of them will struggle with this issue for months. Insomnia is defined by a regular struggle to fall asleep, stay asleep, or return to sleep upon waking prematurely for three months. This can cause a significant decline in cognitive abilities, anxiety, depression, and physical health concerns if left untreated. 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) is a structured program that helps individuals address and overcome the thoughts and behaviors that contribute to sleep problems. It is considered the gold standard for treating insomnia and is effective for many people.

One such way it does this is by helping individuals recognize and change negative thoughts and beliefs about sleep. This includes challenging unrealistic expectations about sleep and addressing worries that can contribute to insomnia and general anxiety. Adding onto this, CBT-I often includes relaxation exercises to help calm the mind and body before bedtime. Techniques may include progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing, or guided imagery. CBT-I also helps by providing insight and education on healthy sleep habits and lifestyle factors that can affect sleep. This includes advice on creating a comfortable sleep environment, establishing a regular sleep schedule, and avoiding substances that can interfere with sleep, such as caffeine and nicotine. Or, for example, teaching about Sleep Restriction. This technique involves limiting the time spent in bed to the actual time spent sleeping. By reducing time spent in bed awake, individuals can build a stronger association between the bed and sleep, making it easier to fall asleep.

CBT-I might also help learn about stimulus control, like creating a sleep-conducive environment and associating the bed with sleep rather than wakefulness. This includes avoiding stimulating activities in bed and getting up if unable to sleep, returning to bed only when sleepy. CBT-I often also includes relaxation exercises to help calm the mind and body before bedtime. Techniques may include progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing, or guided imagery.

Some CBT-I programs incorporate Neurofeedback to help individuals become more aware of and control physiological processes associated with sleep, such as muscle tension and heart rate. Here at Nugent Family Counseling, we are committed to helping clients manage their insomnia and can provide Neurofeedback support if required.While medications may be used in the short term, CBT-I is often recommended as a first-line treatment by the American College of Physicians for chronic insomnia because it addresses the underlying thoughts and behaviors contributing to sleep difficulties without relying on medications. If you are experiencing persistent insomnia, you can reach out to Nugent Family Counseling, either by phone at (775) 452-4721, or at our website, https://www.nugenttherapy.com/ for a thorough evaluation and appropriate guidance.