Sleeping pills are often the first choice for treating insomnia. But sleeping pills are actually not the right solution because the effects in the long run can cause dependence. That's why many doctors and health professionals encourage you to do cognitive behavioral therapy to overcome your problems with insomnia.
Overview of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
The main goal of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is to change the mindset or behavior that causes various problems in a person's life. Well in general, insomnia is rooted in an unhealthy lifestyle and a messy sleep pattern that has lasted so long that it is difficult to change.
That's why CBT therapy will be done if sleep disturbances don't improve, even after you've tried various ways to improve your sleep patterns.
CBT for treating insomnia (Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia /CBT-I) is a structured program that aims to help you develop good sleep habits by avoiding various behaviors and negative thoughts that make you unable to sleep well.
Steps for CBT therapy to treat insomnia
CBT-I itself consists of several therapeutic methods to treat insomnia, including:
1. Stimulus control therapy
Stimulus is anything that causes a response. The purpose of this method is to get a positive response when you sleep at night. That is why, doctors or therapists will teach patients to regulate their minds so that they can associate the bedroom only with sleep activities. Because, lying in bed in a state of wakefulness (eg while playing HP or laptop) can be a bad habit that makes it difficult to sleep.
This method will teach you to use the bed only for sleep and sexual activity. So, you should not read, watch TV or do anything other than sleeping on your bed. You are also taught to go to sleep immediately if you feel very sleepy.
If you can't sleep after 20 minutes even though you are lying in bed, you are required to get out of bed and do a relaxing activity. For example meditation. If then you feel sleepy, then you can go back to sleep again.
2. Sleep restriction therapy
This method is done by limiting your sleep time to only 5 hours per day from the ideal sleep time 7 hours per day. This is done so that you become sleep deprived and tired at night.
Well, the situation that happens will actually help you fall asleep faster and wake up less at night. As a result, you can sleep better and get your sleep patterns more stable at night.
If your sleep time gets better, your sleep time will gradually increase.
3. Relaxation therapy
Relaxation therapy teaches you how to relax your mind and body to reduce stress and anxiety which makes it difficult for you to sleep well. This method can be used both during the day and before going to bed with meditation, breathing exercises, muscle relaxation, and so on.
Usually relaxation therapy is also done simultaneously with biofeedback. Biofeedback itself is a sensor device installed in the patient's body to measure muscle tension, heart rate, and frequency of patient's brain waves.
This method requires you to focus and concentrate to see the results. Some people may be able to quickly learn this method in just a few sessions. However, some other people may need many sessions to master this technique.
4. Sleep hygiene education
In many cases, sleep disorders are often caused by bad habits such as smoking, drinking too much caffeine and alcohol, or not exercising regularly. Now by applying this method, you are required to consistently live a healthy lifestyle.
Not only that, sleep hygiene therapy will also provide various basic tips that help you develop a healthy sleep pattern.
5. Cognitive therapy and psychotherapy
This method is used to help you identify negative thoughts and feelings that can make it difficult for you to sleep. Later you will learn how to overcome negative thoughts and improve positive attitudes and self-confidence. This makes you focus on getting rid of all the worries you feel from your mind.
With CBT-I therapy, people who have acute insomnia no longer need to take sleeping pills, which risk endangering their lives in the future. According to researchers from the American College of Physicians, CBT-I has gone through various phases of the experiment so that it is suitable to be applied to people who have difficulty sleeping in order to be able to sleep well at night.
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