The Best Treatment for Chronic Insomnia (and it isn't sleeping pills!)

Medically reviewed by Gregg Jacobs, PhD
2020-04-24

Goodpath is offering its own CBT-I program in conjunction with world renowned sleep expert and former Harvard Medical School professor, Dr. Gregg Jacobs.

There’s an option better than sleeping pills

Although sleeping pills are one of the most-prescribed drugs in the US, they frequently fail to work as they don't treat the root cause of insomnia and are also responsible for many side-effects. Therefore, the most effective way to treat chronic insomnia is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

What is CBT-I?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a psychology-based treatment health problems like insomnia, depression, anxiety, and addiction. It involves first identifying and understanding negative behaviors, thoughts, and patterns and then altering them by using cognitive and behavioral techniques.

CBT-I (Cognitive Behavior Therapy - Insomnia) is incredibly effective and has been proven to improve sleep in 75 to 80 percent of insomnia patients and reduces or eliminates sleeping pill use in 90 percent of patients. In three studies published in major medical journals that directly compared CBT-I with sleeping pills, including Dr. Jacob’s study at Harvard Medical School, CBT-I was proven to be more effective than sleeping pills. There are no side effects and the treatment has lasting effects, unlike sleeping pills. 

How Does CBT-I work?

Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia is a structured program that helps you identify and replace thoughts and behaviors that cause or worsen sleep problems with habits that promote sound sleep. 

Different CBT-I techniques such as stimulus control therapy, sleep scheduling, sleep hygiene, and cognitive restructuring, and more may be used in conjunction to treat your symptoms. These are all tools designed to help improve your sleep over time by changing your sleep habits. Unlike sleeping pills, CBT-I helps you overcome the underlying causes of your sleep problems.

It is not an overnight switch to brand new habits and perfect sleep. CBT-I may take several weeks to complete. 

During this period, users typically keep a sleep diary to track their progress. This helps the clinician figure out what bad habits are causing your insomnia as well as the good habits to keep for better sleep. 

The shift to Online CBT

Traditionally, CBT has been used in one on one or group sessions with a therapist. Because it is such an effective treatment, digital versions of CBT have been developed. This new method of treating patients digitally has allowed many more people to experience this effective treatment at a much lower cost.

 

Goodpath’s CBT-I program

Dr. Gregg Jacobs is one of the principal developers of  CBT-I and has helped his patients eliminate sleep medications for over 30 years. He studied Tibetan monks in research conducted by Harvard Medical School to understand how the mind can control the body in the treatment of insomnia.

 

Dr. Jacobs recently joined Goodpath and believes in its integrative approach to medicine. He developed an online CBT-I program specifically for Goodpath. This treatment is the perfect addition to Goodpath’s sleep program, offering an extremely effective, online treatment to help people with chronic insomnia. 

  

Goodpath’s CBT-I includes:

  • Educational content

    • The science behind the body’s sleep patterns

    • Behaviors that can negatively impact sleep

  • Techniques to change negative sleep thoughts and behaviors that cause insomnia

  • Meditation and relaxation techniques to help you sleep

 

Also, each Goodpath CBT-I program receives a weekly review of each sleep diary by Dr. Jacobs himself.

 To get your own personalized sleep program, click the link to get started.

For more information about sleep, access our free insomnia guidance and stress management at our Learn Center.