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Basics of cognitive behavioral therapy

Sleep problem is a health complaint that directly affects the health and lives of our dear ones. There are about 20 million snorers in the United Kingdom. An insomnia doctor has opined that the number may be much bigger as there a good number of people who snore without knowing about it. This is a serious condition caused as a result of sleep apnea.

Though there are some symptoms and signs for making a primary diagnosis of insomnia, it will be necessary to undergo a detailed examination and some specific sleep tests to confirm the existence of sleep apnea. The best test to undergo in this regard will be the overnight test conducted in an insomnia clinic which is known as polysomnography. In this study various conditions like heart rate, blood oxygen level etc are studied.

Usually sleep apnea patients visit a general medical practitioner without knowing the need to consult an insomnia doctor. Your local doctor may try some common medications and if no positive results are obtained he may refer you to an insomnia clinic where detailed study about the problem and relevant treatment methods can be adopted.

Cognitive behavioral therapy

CBT-1 is a good treatment for chronic sleep problems and it is usually recommended as the first treatment in the line of treatment. This is a structured program and helps one to indentify and thoughts and change them and promote habits that help in obtaining a sound sleep. Unlike sleeping pills, this treatment option dares to overcome the underlying cause of sleeplessness. Your sleep therapist will need your sleep diary for the last one or two weeks to chalk out the best treatment plans.

How it works?

This method allows you to understand and change the beliefs that can affect your sleeping ability. It aims avoiding negative thoughts that keep you awake. Your sleep therapist may suggest some CBT-1 techniques to improve your sleep. Two of them are given below.

Stimulus control therapy: This method helps the patient to remove the factors that resist your sleep from your mind. The patient will be asked to follow a fixed time pattern for going to bed and waking up and to avoid naps.

Sleep restriction: Lying awake in the bed can become a habit that can result in poor sleep. So the patient is deprived some sleep and asked to go to bed only when you feel sleepy. This makes the patient tired and makes the sleep normal after some days of sleep deprivation.

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