TREATING INSOMNIA

            Insomnia affects between 20% and 50% of older adults. While causes range from an enlarged prostate prompting frequent nighttime bathroom visits to post-menopausal night sweats that keep women awake, insomnia can also be a distinct sleep disorder. The National Institutes for Health (NIH) considers “cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia” (CBT-I) to be the first-line treatment for insomnia for people with underlying conditions and for those whose  insomnia is a primary disorder. With this treatment, insomniacs learn to identify habits and beliefs that prevent them from getting sleep and then to develop skills that help them overcome these habits. Maintaining a detailed sleep diary, known as a “sleep log,” is an integral part of these efforts.  

            CBT-I can help you control or eliminate negative thoughts and worries that keep you awake. CBT-I may be a good treatment choice if you have long-term sleep problems, you’re worried about becoming dependent on sleep medications, or if medications aren’t effective or cause bothersome side effects. Plains Area Mental Health Center can help.  We welcome people of all ages and from all backgrounds. If you would like to make an appointment with one of our compassionate counselors contact one of our offices for more information. 

P.S. Many individuals find that cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) helps them improve their sleep after a few weeks without any need for drugs.