Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia

CBTi is a highly evidenced based treatment for insomnia and has been shown in many studies to be one of the most effective treatments for this condition. It is the first line treatment of choice for both short and long-term insomnia recommended by NICE. It is delivered most successfully in small group sessions.

Is it as effective as medication for insomnia?

Whilst medication can be effective in helping with sleep problems it is not a long-term solution and the problems quickly return once the medication is stopped, not to mention that sleeping tablets have side effects and can lead to medication dependence. CBTi actually addresses the underlying drivers of the insomnia and helps to you to develop a set of skills to manage your sleep in the future going forwards and so it is a lifelong intervention.

Does it work?

Yes! There is a wealth of evidence to support the effectiveness of CBTi for insomnia. And most importantly it has been shown to be a treatment that improves sleep in the long term. Benefits include less time to fall asleep, more time spent asleep, fewer night time awakenings and improved sleep quality.

How does it work?

CBTi is a psychological intervention that uses multi-focused techniques to address different factors and behaviours which are likely to be driving insomnia. It helps people to develop and maintain healthy sleep habits and reinforces a positive association between going to bed and falling asleep. 

There are three main components to CBTi:

  1. Cognitive interventions- to address unhelpful or inaccurate thoughts about sleep. This type of therapy can help you control or eliminate negative thoughts and worries that keep you awake
  2. Behavioural interventions- help to establish good sleep habits and to undo behaviours that keep you from sleeping well
  3. Psycho-educational interventions– education about the connection between thoughts, feelings, behaviour and sleep is central to CBTi.

Who can CBTi help?

CBTi can help with:

  • Anxiety around falling asleep
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Night-time wakening
  • Early morning waking
  • Poor sleep quality- feeling unrefreshed the next day

What will I have to do?

You will have tasks to complete each week and will be asked to fill out a sleep diary for the duration of the course. This allows us to tailor the techniques to your individual sleep needs and track improvements in your sleep. In order for CBTi to be effective you will need to put into daily practice the techniques that you learn each week on the course. Some of them may seem difficult or counter-intuitive at first but we are here to support and guide you through the process.

How long will it take to improve my sleep?

For chronic insomnia some of the sleep behaviours have built up over years- even decades and so it can take time to unpick these ideas and behaviours and for those changes to take effect. Whilst the techniques can take weeks to work, once they do, they will be effective in the long-term and will give you a framework to follow healthy sleep habits for the future.


“I can honestly say I felt completely seen and heard”

“I felt you took the time to ask me questions and truly listen which entirely validated my experience and feelings”

“Very clear in her explanations and listened to my concerns. I felt very reassured that a plan is in place”

“Thank you so much for your care and attention”