What Is Sleep Therapy?

What Is Sleep Therapy?

When you don’t sleep well you end up feeling so tired, irritated and not able to concentrate. It can start affecting your work/school performance, ruin relationships and also affect your health. Over 100 million people do not get enough sleep and many end up with sleep disorders.

Sleep therapy is a type of therapy made to improve your sleep. It can help with sleep disorders like mental/physical conditions or insomnia.

Types of Sleep Therapy

The most common type of therapy for insomnia is cognitive behavioural therapy.  CBTi is a type of therapy that can help you identify and replace unhealthy thoughts with healthier habits.


A therapist who is specialized in CBTi uses different techniques to help improve your sleep. This is because sleep can be impacted by many mental health concerns. Your therapist would then conduct a detailed assessment to find out why your sleep is being affected and find different techniques for treatment.

Below are some of the techniques sleep therapists may use;

Sleep Hygiene

Improving your sleep hygiene means making a sleep routine that is healthy. This means changing your lifestyle in a way that influences your sleep – for example smoking, alcohol consumption or increasing on doing sports. This will help create a consistent sleep schedule.

Sleep Environment Optimization

Your therapist may recommend changing some parts of your sleep environment making it comfortable for unbroken sleep. Things like keeping your room quite, cool or dark may help.  

Stimulus Control

Stimulus control is removing any signs that state your mind to avoid sleep. For example, you probably lie in your bed and watch TV shows, which can cause you to associate bedtime with excitement. Stimulus control encourages you to stick to the same bed time every day and use your bed only for sleeping. The therapist would tell you to leave the bed if you can’t sleep within 20 minutes of getting in bed and get back to bed when you’re drowsy.

Paradoxical Intention

CBTi uses a technique known as paradoxical intention. This requires you to commit to staying wide awake. This works well because you’re not worried about not being able to sleep. When you let go of your anxiety it will make it easier to sleep.

What Sleep Therapy Can Help With

Sleep therapy can be helpful in treating of several conditions such as:

Sleep disorders 

  • Insomnia
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Sleep apnoea
  • Narcolepsy

Mental health conditions 

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Substance abuse
  • OCD
  • PTSD

Physical health conditions

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Obesity.

Benefits of Sleep Therapy

Improves awareness and understanding

Having a sleep therapist can help you understand better why you aren’t able to sleep well. It can make you aware of your sleep hygiene habits too.

Targets sleep-related thoughts

Therapy can help recognise and correct unhelpful thoughts like “Why can’t I sleep through the night like other people?” or “I know I’m not going to sleep well tonight,” or “I need to sleep in the next 10 minutes to be able to get exactly 7 hours of sleep.”

Promotes healthy sleep habits

Sleep therapy can help you develop healthy sleep-related habits.

Treats mental health issues

Therapy can help figure out and treat mental health issues that are the main cause of your inability to sleep, making it a long-term solution.

Reduces dependence on medication

Some people rely on medication like sleeping pills, to help them sleep well. However, this is just a short-term solution that doesn’t treat the problem. So, sleep therapy can help you reduce your dependence on sleeping pills.

How to Get Started

If you want to start sleep therapy, look for a sleep therapist specialized in CBTi. You can look for one that is near you or can even get one online. Sleep therapists are limited so making them a little costly but it depends on the duration of your treatment.

Take away

Sleep is a vital thing that is connected with several other mental/physical health conditions. If you’re having trouble sleeping, get yourself a specialized therapy known as CBTi to help improve the quality of your sleep. Getting a good night’s sleep can make a big difference to your mood, output, and your overall health.

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