Managing Insomnia

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia

Cognitive behaviour therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) is the treatment for insomnia that is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and has been shown in numerous studies to be more effective in the long term than medication. It consists of a range of measures that involve changing your habits or changing the way that you think about your sleep. A strategy will be selected according to your particular circumstances after careful assessment.

The first session (which can last up to two hours) will involve, firstly, a detailed assessment of your sleep habits in order to identify problems, or to rule out any other sleep disorder; secondly, we will devise an individual plan of action, which will be likely to involve changes of routine that could be quite challenging, or to have a clear rationale for referring elsewhere.

Occasionally, one long session is sufficient for someone to get on course, but most people prefer to have a three or four further sessions (45–60 minutes) to discuss progress. Ideally, we would meet in person for the first assessment session at least, but it may be possible to continue therapy by telephone, or online, if travel or other commitments make meeting difficult. In any case, it should not be necessary to have repeated sessions over the course of time. If for any reason CBT-I does not seem to be appropriate for you, I will not recommend more sessions.

My basic fee is £75 per hour: full details on application.

To discuss further, please get in touch.


What I cannot do

I am unable to advise on children’s sleep, or on specialist equipment or bedding to enable a person with a disability (adult or child) to achieve a comfortable position at night.

Although I have experience of working with people with a range of sleep disorders, I cannot advise on respiratory problems in sleep, such as obstructive sleep apnoea.


Other options for therapy

  • If you think that you need medication for your sleep problem, you should talk to your family doctor. A short-term course of medication for insomnia can be a solution to a short-term problem.
  • If it is low mood or depression that is affecting your sleep, you should first consult your doctor.
  • If your sleep is affected by anxiety, you could consider cognitive behaviour therapy. This might be available through local mental health services. In the Bristol area CBT is available privately: for example, http://www.cbtbristol.com/
  • If it is your child’s sleep that is of concern, you will want to ensure that a therapist is properly qualified, and you might try contacting The Children’s Sleep Charity for advice: http://www.thechildrenssleepcharity.org.uk/
  • If you need specialist advice about bedding and the bedroom, contact SleepHubs: https://sleephubs.com/
  • For information on technology and more, visit https://sleepjunkies.com/