How Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Can Help Sleep
If you toss and turn a lot while counting sheep throughout the night, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) could help you sleep much better. CBT can transform your thoughts and actions in a good way. You will adopt better habits that will promote healthier and more relaxing sleep patterns. This is the most natural and medication-free way of enjoying plenty of sleep, and you don’t need a doctor’s appointment. If the treatment goes well, you might never suffer from insomnia again. Say goodbye to watching reruns of shows on Netflix just because your mind is always racing. A lot of people have tried cognitive behavioural therapy and rave about its effectiveness in providing much-needed relief. Hopefully, you won’t start snoozing until after reading this blog.
So, What Exactly Is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?
Harvard Medical School’s Health Publishing says that CBT is based on the idea that our thoughts make us suffer as much as external things do. Even if you are trying to sleep in the most peaceful and quiet place, your thoughts might be loud enough to keep you up all night. These thoughts are exhausting and irrational, it’s like your brain cannot switch off for a moment. That is why CBT is beneficial because it forces positive thoughts rather than tiresome negative ones. You can learn to think better, which will relax your mind and body.
How Does CBT Improve Sleep, You Ask?
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy will optimize your behaviour while reinforcing positive sleeping habits. Each appointment takes about half an hour, so you can fit it during a lunch break. You will meet a qualified sleep professional who will also encourage you to maintain a sleep diary. Many people who have been insomniacs for a long time have mistaken beliefs and emotions regarding sleep. The therapist will speak to you and clarify any doubts to help you remove any mental blocks. For example, maybe you think that going to sleep early will make you wake up at the crack of dawn. You do not need eight hours of sleep all the time either just to feel well-rested. Instead of feeling stressed about sleep, CBT improves the body’s ability to relax rather than have your head spinning with too many thoughts and misconceptions.
The practitioner will collect a lot of information about your sleep history and patterns, hence the need for a sleep diary. This information will help you understand why you cannot sleep and what to do about it. Be honest during these discussions so that the process can work and solve a lot of long-term sleep-related issues. CBT is a training method that will soothe your mind from negative thoughts, and that is why it takes time. You will need to be patient and open to the process. Losing sleep can affect your health in a bad way because your cells need rest to rejuvenate. CBT will override your negative thoughts and emotions so that you can sink into bed and disconnect from the world.
Is CBT Effective?
A lot of people who struggled with sleep problems hailed cognitive behavioural therapy as ground-breaking. They are happier because of it, and it has changed their lives. Imagine being able to relax whenever you are tired instead of thinking about things that ruin your mood. This might not work for everyone, but it is worth trying if you want an alternative to medication.
Psychologists who practice this therapy use a “Stimulus control,” where CBT patients are explicitly taught to rest when they are tired. It all depends on how your own body feels, and you should not get discouraged if you don’t see immediate results. At least you will not have to rely on medicines and risk addiction to them. After a few sessions, you can also switch to more natural sleeping aids like melatonin.