Occupational Therapy CBT for Insomnia
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) is a safe, effective, non-drug related treatment for
persistent sleep problems. It is a structured program aimed to help you identify and replace
thoughts and behaviours that cause or worsen your sleep problems with habits that promote sound sleep.
There is a strong body of research that points to CBT-I as the single best long-term treatment option for
Who can benefit from CBT-I?
❑ Adults who feel they are unable to fall or stay asleep and have had this problem for three
months or more.
❑ Individuals with co-occurring conditions such as chronic pain, depression and anxiety.
When is CBT-I not a good fit?
❑ Current substance use disorder
❑ Bipolar disorder
❑ Medically unstable
❑ Psychologically unstable / in crisis
❑ Excessive daytime sleepiness. This symptom indicates a need for a sleep study to determine
presence of another sleep disorder.
❑ Untreated or inadequately treated sleep apnea (adequate treatment requires CPAP use at
least 4 hours per night at least 5 nights per week)
Patients can remain on sleeping medication when completing CBT-I treatment. The recommendation
for those patients is to take the medication consistently (the same dose, at the same time, everyday).
When CBT-I is complete and a patient wishes to stop medication, tapering together with family doctor
is encouraged. Rebound insomnia is a common challenge when discontinuing sleep medication and
a booster session of CBT-I can be helpful.
What you can expect:
❑ Prior to first appointment the patient will be asked to complete preliminary questionnaires
regarding sleep and sleepiness to bring to the assessment.
❑ The initial assessment is 90 minutes. I will go over the questionnaires, complete a psychosocial
history and discuss the CBT-I model. The patient will be asked to complete a daily sleep log for
the duration of treatment.
❑ Treatment sessions are 45 minutes in length, on average CBT-I requires 2-6 sessions. Some people
require additional sessions depending on individual need.
Meet Judith Mendoza, our occupational therapist using CBT for Insomnia.