What is CBT-I? cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia explained0

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CBT-I  (cognitive behavior therapy for insomnia) has in recent years become a first line recommended treatment in many countries for treating sleep problems that would have previously been tackled with prescription meds.

The reason for the rise in popularity of CBT-I is that studies have repeatedly shown positive, lasting effects that when patients successfully complete a course of treatment.

CBTI combines a suite of psychological and behavorial tools and techniques, and is designed to challenge the negative thought patterns associated with insomnia, and introduce behavorial changes to reduce the anxieties associated with sleep.

For this episode we talked to Chartered Psychologist and sleep therapist, Dr Lindsay Browning all about CBT-I, how it works, what a typical CBT-I treatment plan looks like, plus lots more.


Show highlights

  • [02:04] introduction to Dr Lindsay Browning
  • [03:51] the importance of a checking a sleep expert’s credentials
  • [08:49 ] the difference between counselling and cognitive therapy
  • [11:19] intentional bias and how negative thoughts influence reinforce negative behaviors
  • [15:00] how CBT-I has replaced sleeping pills as a recommended first-line treatment for insomnia
  • [18:10] different CBT-I delivery systems: therapist, group therapy, online, self-directed
  • [21:55] CBT-I group therapy vs one-to-one- therapy
  • [23:45] explaining how a typical CBT-I therapy session works
  • [26:22]  completing a sleep diary
  • [28:47] can you use a sleep tracker when doing CBT-I
  • [32:35] behavorial recommendations and sleep restriction
  • [34:45] Pavlov’s dog and classical conditioning
  • [41:55] stimulus control
  • [44:34] CBT-I is not a magic bullet 
  • [45:42] cognitive aspects of CBT-I
  • [49:54] keeping a bedside journal to clear your thoughts before bedtime
  • [53:16] how long does a course of CBT-I last?

This Episode’s Guest:

Dr Lindsay Browning CBTi
Dr Lindsay Browning

Dr Lindsay Browning is a neuroscientist and sleep consultant from the UK with a Doctorate (DPhil) from the University of Oxford, an MSc. in Neuroscience and a BSc. in Psychology.

Having realised that there was a desperate need for help for people suffering from insomnia she founded Trouble Sleeping in 2006.

Dr Browning is a Chartered Psychologist, Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, a member of the British Sleep Society and a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.


Trouble Sleeping – https://troublesleeping.co.uk/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/DrBrowningSleep

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/DrBrowningSleep/


Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/DrBrowningSleep

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