Sleep specialist Dr. Vyga Kaufmann gives a Ted Talk about how Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Insomnia – CBT-I for short – is a successful alternative to the usual cycle of over-the-counter and prescription medications and ineffectual compensations people generally try to make up for not sleeping or for not getting any rest and rejuvenation from your sleep.
Studies show that most people need somewhere between 7 and 9 hours of sleep. That’s for the entire sleep cycle, and a lot more goes on in your brain than dreaming when you sleep. Studies have shown that the glymphatic system in the brain actually drains toxins from your brain that lead to Dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Not getting enough of the right kind of sleep can also lead to other health problems, because sleep has been shown to crucial for the proper function of your immune system.
Insomnia is more than just not sleeping. You can be sleeping at night but not getting the full benefit of it. If your sleep is restless or you are not rejuvenated by your sleep, you could still be suffering from insomnia. Dr. Kaufmann points out that insomnia while insomnia often presents in conjunction with other health problems, that it is not just a symptom. Insomnia is a disorder that needs to be assessed, diagnosed, and treated.
Dr. Kaufmann discusses how studies have shown that Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Insomnia works just as well in the short term and has been proven to work better in longer term studies. The major issue is not that CBT-I doesn’t work. The problem is that people aren’t aware that these strategies are out there.
Strategies like Sleep Restriction – which means temporarily increasing your sleep debt – and Stimulus Control – which means training yourself to only think of the bedroom as someplace you sleep and not engage in other things like check your email or watch TV – can dramatically decrease instances of insomnia.
CBT-I has also been shown to be effective in the treatment of accompanying illnesses and disorders. Cancer survivors and people suffering from PTSD, Fibromyalgia, and Major Depression can also benefit from CBT-I.