Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program

Treatments For Improving Sleep

Improving Sleep with Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia

Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I)is a very effective treatment for many people who have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or feeling well rested in the morning. Often considered the first line of treatment, it is recommended before use of sleep medication. Treatment typically lasts from six to 10 sessions over two to three months.

If you find that your sleep medication helps, but you still are not sleeping as well as you would like, we can help improve your sleep even more without requiring you to stop taking your current medication. Typically, this is done by adding cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I)techniques while also helping you find the right dose and time of day to take your current medication. The treatment works by eliminating bad habits that contribute to poor sleep and by addressing beliefs that affect emotions or behaviors that interfere with sleep.

Improving Sleep for People Suffering from Anxiety

One of the most common causes of sleep problems is anxiety. Some people can’t sleep because they have difficulty “shutting their minds off” at night. Often they report feeling very worried or anxious about what might happen in the future, while others just feel wide awake and start thinking about anything that comes to mind. If your brain seems to kick into high gear at night, your sleep is likely to suffer. We can help you develop skills to cope with these issues in new ways.

Improving Sleep for People Suffering from Depression

Depression involves feeling down and/or losing interest or pleasure in things you used to enjoy. Sleep problems are very common in those suffering from depression, which can make it harder to recover. We provide integrated treatments to improve sleep and treat depression at the same time to help you recover as quickly as possible and stay well longer. Typically, this includes Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)  for depression in combination with Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I). If you take medication for depression, we can help.

Improving Sleep for People who have Experienced Trauma

People who experience a traumatic event such as a serious accident, natural disaster, physical violence, or sexual assault often develop problems sleeping. It is also common to experience depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following a traumatic event. You may feel “on guard” and have difficulty relaxing. Bad dreams are also common.

Our specialists can help relieve these symptoms and get you sleeping better. After a thorough assessment, we will work with you to develop personalized treatment, which may include trauma-focused treatment such as cognitive processing therapy for PTSD, prolonged exposure for PTSD, imagery rehearsal therapy for chronic nightmares, and/or Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I). Each of these treatments has a strong evidence base showing that they are safe and effective.

Improving Sleep with Help Tolerating CPAP and BiPAP Devices

Millions of people in the United States have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, a medical condition in which breathing is impaired during sleep, often causing fatigue and low motivation during the day. CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) or BiPAP (bilevel positive airway pressure) machines are an excellent treatment, but many people have difficulty tolerating these devices while they sleep.

If you find that you feel claustrophobic or anxious while wearing the device, we can help. Treatment typically involves gradually getting used to the device. Relaxation exercises may be used until wearing the mask becomes second nature.

Improving Sleep with Help Reducing or Eliminating Use of Sleep Medications

Many people use sleep medications longer than desirable. If you have been taking a medicine to help you sleep for a long time, it can be difficult to stop. Our specialists can help you slowly reduce your use of a sleep medication, while helping you develop skills to improve the quality of your sleep. We will work with you and your doctor to develop a plan that is safe and manageable.

For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our behavioral sleep medicine specialists, please call 401-606-0606.