Consumer Reports researches different way to help insomniacs fall asleep

Cognitive behavioral therapy helping people fall asleep

By Chris Shadrock - Web - News Producer

SAN ANTONIO - Bridgette Brawner has no medical reason for her insomnia, so she tried a new solution. She began going to a cognitive behavior therapist.

“I was going on over a year of really just not being able to fall asleep,” Brawner said. “It builds up, and it wears on your body. It wears on your mind. It wears on your relationships.”

It did not take her long to see relief.

“Cognitive behavior therapy has been shown to improve the amount of sleep you get, as well as how often you wake at night,” Dr. Orly Avitzur, Consumer Reports medical director, said.

The treatment is rather simple. People keep a sleep diary along with a rating of their sleep each night and how they felt the next day.

Therapists review the diary and suggest strategies for better sleep. They will also help clients change their daily routine so they set their body’s sleep cycle.

“A lot of our job is to make it absolutely crystal clear to the brain, now is the time to be awake (and) now is the time to be asleep,” Dr. James Findley said.

Professional CBT insomnia treatment takes about two months of weekly sessions and most insurance usually covers treatment.

“I feel like my joy has been renewed,” Brawner said. “I feel like myself.”

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