Episode 43



What’s the best way to improve and resolve insomnia?

In this episode, I review some of the data on how effective a tailored version of CBT can in the management of insomnia, known as CBT-I.

These ideas we’ve been talking about since the beginning - these non-drug interventions for sleep make a huge difference - they are highly effective. In Episode 42 I talked about cognitive behavioral therapy more generally as a framework for approaching some challenges to our psychological wellbeing. This same type of approach is also helpful when it comes to sleep.

CBT-I or cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia has earned the right to be the top recommended treatment for insomnia, including by the American College of Physicians and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. And not due to any wishful thinking but precisely due to the demonstrable benefit. Science- and evidence-based medicine supports CBT-I as the top dog for insomnia.

In this episode I review data from several meta-analysis looking at dozens of studies, thousands of patients from all over the world.


  • shortens the time to fall asleep
  • reduces the time spent awake in the middle of the night
  • improves the total amount of sleep
  • improves sleep efficiency
  • and improves quality of life

In short, the best way to improve insomnia by several factors over comparisons is with CBTI, and the best way to achieve full remission of insomnia is with CBTI. And it doesn’t matter if it's delivered one-on-one, in a group, using audio-visual telecommunications, just over the telephone, in a guided app or online portal, or from a book.


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