Treatment of insomnia: cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy
Today, insomnia is one of the most common health problems. Fear of the night, lack of sleep, difficulty falling asleep, waking up in the middle of the night, the feeling of being sleepy are the most commonly reported symptoms of insomnia.
Many years, the problem of lack of sleep was considered as a disorder associated with somatic disease or concomitant mental illness. Recently, insomnia has been more and more perceived as a distinct disorder, with roots in psychological components, which have significant impact on the quality of our sleep.
Insomnia can and should be treated.
Stress, tension, personal and / or professional problems – it all stimulates the body and prevents the state of relaxation necessary for falling asleep and for sound sleep.
Lack of sleep is associated with lower performance during the next day, at school and at work. You feel worse, both physically and mentally. This leads to a higher tension … and so begins the insomnia.
The predominant method of treatment is symptom treatment of insomnia in the form of pharmacotherapy, which is recommended by a doctor specializing in sleep medicine. Cognitive behavioral psychotherapy can complement pharmacotherapy or to be used without it. It is decided by specialists, together with the patient.
Cognitive-behavioral psychotherapist attempts to identify the causes of insomnia and the mechanisms which are responsible for its persistence.
The basic program of psychotherapeutic treatment of insomnia consists of a few to several meetings during which, a psychotherapist shall:
- interview a patient in order to rule out other diseases
- teach the patient how to use sleep diary,
- do exercises for sleep hygiene,
- run the process of changing false beliefs associated with sleep,
- teach the patient relaxation techniques.
Research on the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy in the treatment of insomnia shows that 80% of patients achieve significant improvements in the quality of sleep and in mood during the day.
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