Insomnia is one of the chief complaints brought to a physician’s office practice. In the National Sleep Foundation’s 2002 Sleep in America poll, 35% of adults reported experiencing symptoms of insomnia every night and 58% reported insomnia at least a few nights per week.*
Insomnia is the inability to obtain sufficient sleep over a period of time – to fall asleep or to stay asleep. It may even manifest as waking up too early or not getting good quality sleep. Poor sleep can not only make one feel tired the next day, but also increases drowsiness and irritability, and decreases productivity and concentration.
It can occur simultaneously with various factors like a stressful life event, illness, emotional or physical pain, use of alcohol, some medications or depression, anxiety or chronic stress which creates a cause and effect cycle. Sometimes, insomnia maintains itself even when the stressful event has gone from your life.
The traditional treatment for insomnia has always been prescribed sleeping pills by doctors that are now known to have serious side effects. They do not treat the causes of insomnia which is why they are only moderately beneficial for insomnia. Reliance on these pills develops a dependency and loses efficacy over time, thereby sustaining the cycle of insomnia and sleeping pills.*
Fortunately, Harvard Medical School and the University of Massachusetts have studied and shown that psychotherapy in the form of Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Insomnia is more effective as it is natural (does not use pills) and addresses the underlying causes of insomnia. I am currently the only therapist in Singapore who is trained under Dr Jacobs. In this program, after we evaluate the issues you are facing with sleep, I will guide you to unlearn the causes of your insomnia which are your sleep thoughts and sleep behaviors/habits. We will also slowly work relaxation training and on reducing your dependency on sleeping pills. Studies have shown that CBT-I for insomnia has shown a 75% efficacy rate.
CBT-I can benefit nearly everyone with sleep problems. What’s more, the effects will last and I will be there to support you every step of the way.
*Jacobs G.D., Pace-Schott E.F., Stickgold R., Otto M.W. (2004). Cognitive Behavior therapy and pharmacotherapy for insomnia. Archives of internal medicine, 164: 1888 – 1896.