Now that we’ve learned about CBT for Insomnia treatment, let’s see what it is like to go through treatment!

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Let’s view the Treatment Process Up Close

What Will Treatment Be Like?

People with insomnia have certain lifestyle and sleep habits that keep the brain from “turning off” and realizing it is time for sleep. They also often lay in bed worrying or thinking about things in their life. In Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Insomnia, you will learn proven skills to re-train your brain for sleep. You’ll also learn new skills to calm the mind and body for sleep.

At the start of treatment, you will create treatment goals that are specific to you. Then, you and your therapist will work as a team to achieve these goals. Your therapist will provide you with a sleep log to track your sleep and your improvements along the way! Treatment lasts only 4-6 sessions.

Treatment Up Close: Ana's Journey

Click on this video to see how CBT for Insomnia treatment turned out for Ana.

Treatment Success: Phil's Story

Read about what treatment looked like for Phil by clicking on the pages of this e-book. Phil's story is based on the experiences of Veterans with insomnia that have decided to give CBT treatment a try. See if you can identify specific goals and treatment steps in Phil's story!


Phil is a 63-year-old Vet who served in the Vietnam War. He was never a great sleeper, but for the past several years it has gotten worse. He goes to bed around 11:00 AM, but doesn’t fall asleep until almost 1:00 AM. During the night, he wakes up 3-4 times and has trouble getting back to sleep. While awake in bed, Phil worries about things in his life. During the day, Phil is so tired he dozes off while watching TV. Because of this, his wife worries about him driving.

Session 1

During his initial appointment with the psychologist, Phil learned about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for insomnia. After learning that it really improved sleep for most Veterans who have tried it, Phil was willing to give it a shot. He also liked that it took only 4-6 sessions.

Sessions 2-3

Looking at Phil’s sleep log the next session, Phil and his therapist saw that Phil went to sleep and woke up at different times each day. To reset his "internal sleep clock," Phil started going to sleep and waking up at the same times each day.

Phil also learned how things he did in bed, like being on his cell phone and watching TV, made his brain connect the bed with being awake. He learned how to "re-train" his brain by using his bed just for sleep.

Sessions 4-5

When Phil couldn’t sleep he often worried “I’ll never sleep. How am I going to get everything done tomorrow?” He also had thoughts about things in his life run through his mind. These thoughts made Phil’s mind more active and awake. Phil’s therapist taught him skills to change these thoughts. He also created coping cards to help him change these when they came up at night.

Session 6

According to his sleep log, Phil’s sleep increased from 4.5 to 7 hours. And he woke up an average of only one time per night for about 15 minutes. Phil reported that he had more energy and felt more rested during the daytime. At one point in the session, Phil said he felt “20 years younger!” And, for the first time in a while, Phil’s wife and daughter felt comfortable with him driving on his own.

Now that we’ve learned about CBT for Insomnia, let’s explore what goals you may have for treatment.

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