Suffering from Insomnia? Consider Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

A retired businessman, Ashu Bhandari has over two decades of experience in executive leadership. In his free time, he networks through Ashu Bhandari Consulting to provide pro bono consulting services to local businesses such as Insight Psychological Services.

Insight Psychological Services is a small network of psychologists and psychiatrists based in the Caribbean. The firm works with area residents to provide access to evidence-based treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which is often used to treat insomnia. Although medications can provide short-term relief, CBT is designed to provide an effective and long-term sleeping strategy in a structured environment. Below is a brief look at the major components of CBT for insomnia.

Maintaining a Sleep Diary
Most sleep specialists require patients to log sleep hours and interruptions over several days or weeks. By providing an objective record of sleep habits, a sleep diary helps patients and sleep professionals identify problematic behaviors such going to bed at erratic times.

Practicing Restriction and Sleep Hygiene
Restricting sleep may seem counterintuitive in treating insomnia, but developing a consistent routine and avoiding naps helps make the most efficient use of time in bed. Sleep hygiene, as the term suggests, is about making healthy lifestyle decisions by avoiding stimulants and non-sleep related activities in bed.

Creating a Sleep Environment
Studies show that your eyes are actually most sensitive to light when they’re closed, and a growing body of research suggests that blue lights—such as those commonly found in consumer electronics—can adversely impact sleep-related hormone levels. Specialists may also work to collect biofeedback to determine concurrent conditions such as sleep apnea.