CBT-I Is The First-Line Treatment for Chronic Insomnia

CBT-I (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia) is the most effective cognitive behavioral therapy intervention for any adult health problem. It is more effective than cognitive behavioral therapy for depression, panic disorder, generalized anxiety, and headaches.

CBT-I has also been proven to be the most effective first-line treatment for adults with chronic insomnia. It improves sleep in 75-80% of insomnia patients and reduces or eliminates sleeping pill use in 90% of patients. In one study, 85% of long-term nightly users of benzodiazepine sleep medications were able to eliminate sleep medication using CBT-I. And in three major studies that directly compared CBT-I to sleeping pills, CBT-I was more effective.  CBT-I also has no side effects and maintains improvements in sleep long-term.

Research now shows that CBT-I doubles the improvement rates of depression compared to antidepressant medication alone in depressed patients with insomnia. CBT-I also reduces pain, fibromyalgia, substance abuse, and PTSD in insomnia patients with these co-morbid health problems.

CBT-I is now recommended as the preferred treatment for insomnia by the following publications and organizations:

  • The American College of Physicians
  • National Institutes of Health
  • New England Journal of Medicine
  • Lancet
  • American Psychological Association
  • Consumer Reports
  • American Journal of Psychiatry
  • Journal of Family Practice