Insomnia, defined as persistent problems falling and/or staying asleep, can be caused by many things, including mental health and medical conditions, stressful life events, bad sleep habits, specific substances, or even certain genetic factors. Whatever the cause, an inability to get the sleep you need can be incredibly hard to deal with. Insomnia can make you feel exhausted all day and it can also cause irritability, anxiety and problems with concentration or memory. The good news is that behavioral therapy for insomnia has been proven as an effective treatment for chronic sleep problems and is often recommended as the first line of defense. If you are having trouble with insomnia, reach out to one of TherapyDen’s qualified insomnia experts today.

Meet the specialists

I am trained in an evidence based treatment called CBT-I. This protocol is based in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and is shown to be very effective in treating insomnia.

— Judy Nemmers, Clinical Social Worker in West Des Moines, IA

The constant feeling of being wired but not tired that so many insomnia sufferers deal with is a great thing to be able to let go of on your path towards healing. I utilize Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insonmia (CBT-I) and mindfulness strategies to help clients escape the cycle of sleepless nights and day time dragging.

— Ginger Houghton, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Farmington Hills, MI

Sleep medications don’t deliver the same restorative benefits as natural sleep, and even though people who take them often swear by them, research suggests that the drugs don’t tend to increase sleep quality beyond placebos. Currently, the best available treatment method for combating chronic sleeplessness is not pharmacological at all; it’s psychological.

— Douglas Rugh, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Washington, DC

The type of neurofeedback that I do focuses on the slowest waves produced by the brain. These rhythms are crucial in the sleep/wake cycle and impacting them can regulate sleep cycles, relieving insomnia.

— Jessica Weimer, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) is a heavily researched, short-term treatment that is just as effective as sleep medications in the short run and, in the long run, MORE effective - clients continue to experience benefit long after treatment concludes. Treatment addresses the thoughts and the behaviors that interfere with sleep, teaching clients the skills they need to get better quality sleep and get more of it. CBT-I clients work closely with a therapist to develop and refine a plan designed to specifically address their unique sleep problems Education about the biological and psychological processes that regulate sleep is an essential part of the treatment. I have worked with clients who suffered from insomnia for twenty years or more and are now sleeping six or more hours every night.

— Katherine Chiba, Clinical Social Worker in Portland, OR

ANXIETY & INSOMNIA NOT SURE IF ITS ANXIETY OR ADHD? ANXIOUS SYMPTOMS AFTER TRAUMA Are you prone to excess worry? Do you feel like your worry is disproportionate to the issue at hand? Anxiety is incredibly common, and along with it are some other challenges you might be living with: post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or phobias. First, it’s important for us not to vilify anxiety. Anxiety is a normal part of life; it gives us the energy to focus a little harder when studying for that big exam, taking care of a new baby, or in preparing more thoroughly before a high-stakes job interview. But it’s important to distinguish between those times when it gives us a much-needed boost of energy to allow us to circumvent a threat, and those times when the anxiety itself is more real than the supposed threat. In short, anxiety can take on a life of its own if not proactively managed. Where anxiety becomes a problem in your life is when it takes over the whole show, and actually leads to crippling effects rather than good performance. When it is so overwhelming that you feel paralyzed, or totally panicked. The “fight, flight, or freeze” nervous system response, aka "stress response," helps our brains and bodies prepare for some perceived danger, up ahead. The problem with anxiety disorders, is that the brain is triggered to initiate a stress response to when there is not imminent danger. Sometimes your brain triggers this response at relatively mundane challenges, like traffic, a move, or starting a new job. And at other times, your brain starts triggering your stress response when there is no clear reason. The variety and degree of symptoms are unique to each individual’s history and physiology, but some symptoms are pretty universal (e.g. muscle tension, sweating, rapid heartbeat or breathing, dread, or difficulty sleeping).

— Elyse Gong, Clinical Social Worker in Berkeley, CA

Insomia is pervasive in our society these days for many reasons and to the person suffering it feels intractable. While it may feel hopeless, it is not. Studies have shown that cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I), a highly structured 5-session model, is currently the most effective treatment and significantly more effective than prescription sleeping pills. The National Institute of Health and The American College of Physicians recommend CBT-I as the first line treatment.

— Tara Noone, Social Worker in Berkeley, CA

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia is effective and short-term, typically taking 6-8 sessions. Insomnia usually results from developing bad sleeping habits over a period of time for one reason or another. One bad habit is not that big of a deal, but when a lot of bad habits get thrown into the same bed for a period of time, no one gets any sleep and being tired becomes the norm! While we are working together to improve your sleep you’ll keep a daily sleep diary (very easy and quick to fill out) that I’ll review at every session. This information will help us find your stuck points throughout the treatment and allow us to see your progress.

— Melissa Leedy, Counselor in Broken Arrow, OK