Primary Insomnia

You can treat your insomnia, even if you can’t pinpoint the cause, with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) techniques and strategies.

The only approach that has tangibly improved my mental health in the long run. It is simple, long-lasting and sustainable.

- Ilya V.

I've spent a lot of money trying different things for my mental health. Dawn's CBT program was the only thing that made a difference.

- Kevin L.

I have been falling asleep within 10-15 mins. Dawn has been a huge improvement to my life and I’m really glad I gave it a try.

- Andrew K.

Effective Treatment. Convenient Access.

Online cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) makes sleep therapy more convenient, accessible, and affordable, so it is easy to get started and take the first steps toward consistent, restful sleep right away.

Dawn vs. In-Person Treatment


  • 24/7 access to fit your schedule
  • Start immediately after signing up*
  • Affordable and high-quality
  • Accessible anywhere

Traditional In-Person Treatment

  • Requires scheduling with a therapist
  • Wait for appointments
  • Expensive sessions
  • Only available in-person

Understanding primary insomnia vs. secondary insomnia

With secondary insomnia, an underlying health condition or psychiatric disorder impacts sleep and explains your symptoms. Treatment of secondary insomnia involves addressing the condition/s disrupting sleep, which may require consultation with a physician in combination with sleep therapy.

The cause of primary insomnia is less clear. Primary insomnia is when your sleeplessness is not attributed to an underlying health condition or psychiatric disorder. Not having a clear reason for restless nights can be frustrating, but the good news is that primary insomnia can be treated.

Primary Insomnia Symptoms

Primary insomnia involves having difficulty falling asleep in a reasonable amount of time (i.e., more than 15-20 minutes), staying asleep during the night, waking earlier than you want to, and/, or having non-restorative sleep. The lack of sleep often leads to daytime symptoms, including:

  • Trouble concentrating
  • Memory problems
  • Decreased performance at work, school, or with family obligations
  • Irritability and mood problems
  • Daytime sleepiness or fatigue
  • Hyperactivity, impulsivity, or aggression
  • Loss of motivation
  • Clumsiness
  • Making mistakes
  • Worrying about sleep

Primary Insomnia Treatment

CBT-I is the first-line treatment for insomnia recommended by the American Academy for Sleep Medicine, the American College of Physicians, and the European Sleep Research Society.

There are several reasons physicians recommend CBT-I as the go-to treatment for insomnia.

  • It does not rely on the use of pills.
  • It helps your body return to its natural sleep schedule instead of just relieving symptoms.
  • There are no side effects.
  • It is proven to have lasting effects

Dawn Health’s CBT-I online program is grounded in the same evidence-based practices used during in-person CBT-I and is equally effective.

How Dawn Works

Complete Questionnaire

Complete our 5 minute questionnaire to see if you are a fit for our sleep program.

Meet your Sleep Coach

Download the Dawn app, get introduced to your sleep coach, and work 1:1 with them.

Begin the Program

Identify harmful sleep efforts and get recommended behavioral changes from your coach.

Receive Ongoing Care

Our coaches are available at any time to answer any questions and change your program regimen.

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 not a medical provider and is not providing any recommendations regarding medications. Rather, she is sharing and reviewing the research as it relates to education when learning how best to treat insomnia.

Don’t wait another night.

Sign up for Dawn Health’s CBT-I online to talk to a sleep coach and start treatment for your primary insomnia right away.