How long does it take to treat insomnia….and other common Cbt-I questions

The following are some commonly asked questions about Cbt-I. Feel free to comment on this article with more questions.

I have insomnia for 20 years, is it going to take years to get out of it?

My heart goes out to you that you have been struggling for so long!The average time it takes is 5 sessions, while some may need a bit less or more ,the treatment protocol is very structured and is divided into 5 sessions.

My insomnia started from a truama I went through? Will Cbt-I help me or do I need truama therapy? 

Sleep issues tend to emerge when people go through stressful times. If it is a very recent, short lived kind of truama (this is referred to as acute truama), it would probably be a good idea to have 1 or a few sessions to process this. I use a method called "Flash" for this and have seen it work in some cases in just one session. If this truama happened a long time ago, the sleep issue is more chronic and the insomnia has taken upon a life of it's own. Even if you were to treat the truama now, there may be little effect on your sleep. Insomnia is sustained by a pattern of thoughts and behaviors that can persist long after the initial stressor is over.

I have been taking sleep medication for years and I have become very dependent on it. Can Cbt-I help me learn to sleep without it?

Yes, part of the process involves working with your doctor to slowly wean you off the medication as you learn skills to sleep on your own. As you wean off, you will notice that you are waking up more refreshed.



About the author

Rocheli Sternheim, LCSW

Therapist, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, LCSW

Sometimes when you’re in a dark place, you think you’ve been buried, but you’ve actually been planted.

  • 🧘 Calm
  • 🎯 Direct
  • 💭 Open minded
  • 😃 Humorous

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