What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I)?

CBT-I is a type of treatment that can help improve your sleep duration and quality. Many experts recommend that people with insomnia use CBT-I before trying other treatments like medication.

What does CBT-I involve?

There are a few different components to a CBT-I program. These can include:

  • Cognitive therapy — Treatment that helps you develop more healthy thinking patterns surrounding sleep
  • Sleep education — Using sleeping science to help you develop habits that lead to a better night’s sleep
  • Sleep restriction therapy — Deciding on a set amount of time to stay in bed, which over time means spending less time trying to sleep
  • Relaxation therapy — Techniques such as meditation that can help you fall asleep more easily

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Colleen Ehrnstrom's profile picture
Dr. Colleen Ehrnstrom, PhD

Dr. Colleen Ehrnstrom is a licensed clinical psychologist with a specialty practice in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Areas of expertise include insomnia and other sleep disorders, anxiety, and depression.

Dr Ehrnstrom is the co-author of the book End the Insomnia Struggle: A Step by Step Guide to Help you Get to Sleep and Stay Asleep which offers a comprehensive, personalized sleep program that integrates the physiology of sleep, cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT).

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