3 minute read

What is CBTi and how can it help you sleep?

By Joe Young | Medically reviewed by Lauren Sien

You’ve tried everything. From sleeping on your side to getting your partner to hum Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. But these are short-term fixes to a long-term problem. To solve the issue, you need to understand the foundations of optimal sleep.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for insomnia (CBTi) can help you take control of sleep once and for all. It’s not a quick fix, nor is it a one-size-fits-all solution. It requires commitment, and it demands change. But the rewards are worth it.

What is CBTi?

CBTi is your sleep handbook. It’s a structured programme which tackles insomnia at its roots. It addresses the thoughts, behaviours, and habits that sabotage your sleep, equipping you with tools to break the cycle of sleepless nights.

And the evidence backs it up. Studies consistently show that CBTi is an effective solution to sleepless nights whilst leaving lasting change. It’s not just about getting through the night, it’s about transforming your relationship with sleep.

CBTi can reframe your relationship with sleep in several different ways:

1. Sleep hygiene

We don’t mean cleaning your teeth before bed. Although you should also do that. This is more about creating the right environment for sleep. From regulating your sleep schedule to managing screen time before bed, these changes set the perfect stage for better sleep. 

2. Stimulus control 

Your bedroom should be a sanctuary, not a place of stress. CBTi helps you break this association, reinforcing the bed as a place for sleep and sex. Reading, watching TV, chatting on the phone, eating, drinking, and working on your computer - activities that could keep your mind alert - should ideally be done in another room.

3. Sleep patterns 

CBTi introduces sleep consolidation, a technique aimed at aligning your time in bed with the amount of sleep you're getting. It’s about quality over quantity, less being more. Create a solid block of restful sleep rather than long, disrupted nights.

4. Thoughts

Thinking for the most part is a good thing - it’s what stops you from making that dicey joke in front of grandma. But when you overdo it, it can wreck your sleep. Negative thought patterns are a common culprit in insomnia, trapping you in a cycle of stress and sleeplessness. CBTi teaches you to identify, challenge, and change these thoughts. 

5. Relaxation

It’s hard to sleep with an overactive mind. CBTi provides tools to calm the brain and relax the body. From deep breathing to progressive relaxation, these techniques enhance your overall wellbeing so you sleep better. 


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The numan take

Everyone wants a quick fix, but to reap the rewards, you have to commit to change. CBTi is a proven method to get your sleep back on track.