CBT for Insomnia: How Can You Get Better Sleep in Early Recovery?
When insomnia and substance abuse occur together, the distress and the risks are heightened. Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, for insomnia can be a powerful tool for better sleep during the difficult stage of early recovery. In fact, this personalized approach to treatment can also help to transform addictive behaviors and prepare clients for long-term healthy habits and empowered perspective.
Insomnia is a rolling snowball. It is a cycle that intensifies and expands. Even when someone is lying awake at night in stillness and silence and stagnation, their insomnia is churning and building. The more they try to fall asleep, the less likely they are to succeed.
Insomnia can create additional problems, such as anxiety, depression, substance use disorders and other addictions, compromised energy and concentration, poor performance at work, physical illness, chronic pain. And those problems can make insomnia worse, in turn, opening up the likelihood of even more aggravating problems. On the other hand, insomnia can also result from any of these distressing problems in the first place. Everyone’s struggle is unique.
When substance abuse is involved, it becomes more challenging but also more important that insomnia is addressed early. Insomnia could be very disruptive to a person’s detoxification and initial work in recovery, and it could also increase their risks of relapse down the road.
If you know someone who is suffering from insomnia in the context of active substance abuse or recovery, it is critical that they get involved with treatment for both mental health problems at once. Treatment options should be integrated for problems that are integrated. Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, for insomnia is a highly effective approach that addresses the beliefs, triggers, and patterns that fuel a person’s sleeplessness. CBT is a powerful alternative to medication for better sleep. And this is a particularly important option when someone is in the early stages of recovery from substance abuse.
As a personalized program, cognitive behavioral therapy can reinforce healthy habits in all areas of a person’s life and support healthier coping strategies than substance use. And, with CBT, a client gains tools and confidence that can help to sustain these progressive habits far into their future.
What Is CBT for Insomnia?
CBT-I, or cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, is a psychological approach to reshaping the thoughts and behaviors that impede healthy sleep. This kind of therapy is carefully structured to serve the individual in the context of a close and trusting therapeutic alliance. Regardless of what causes a person’s insomnia, their therapist will design practices to suit their unique challenges and goals. It takes persistent work over an extended period of time to achieve cognitive and behavioral results. But these efforts are worth the benefits of medication-free sleep improvement in early recovery, as well as long-range coping strategies.
Whereas medications work to relieve the symptoms of insomnia on the surface, cognitive behavioral therapy addresses the underlying causes of the problem. In the care of experienced clinicians, clients can be assured of accurate diagnoses and evaluations to highlight potential factors in their sleep disturbances. Researchers have observed that people with substance use disorders are five times more likely to have insomnia. So, addiction specialists are prepared to treat related complications. CBT is recognized as one of the best treatments for insomnia and one of the most effective approaches to integrative recovery.
In practice, CBT-I involves the exploration of limiting beliefs and thoughts around sleep, stress management, and any other impediment to quality rest. Together with a therapist, clients can transform their relationship and reactions to these thoughts through clearer, empowered perspective. In the process, the client-therapist team also assesses the factors that inhibit productive sleep and strategize to develop better sleep hygiene and habits. They may also practice relaxation techniques for the mind and body alike. All of these transformative tools can then be carried beyond residential treatment because the client learns how to confidently apply them in their daily life.
At the same time that CBT can improve one’s sleep in early recovery, this therapeutic approach can also address thoughts and behaviors related to addiction and other mental health disorders. In fact, CBT is commonly used to redirect addictive tendencies and behaviors and to prevent relapse.
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How Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Tie into Addiction Recovery?
Substance use disorders and insomnia are both incredibly isolating conditions. They attract isolation, and they thrive in isolation. They are also very personal and sensitive experiences that need personal and sensitive care in response. Enter, comprehensive residential treatment. This integrative program is built within a community of welcoming clinicians, therapists, and peers who share the recovery priority. At times, healing happens on an individual basis, and, at times, amazing progress is made in a group. Right from the start, some of the power is depleted from one’s addiction and insomnia because the trend of isolation is reversed.
The cause and effect relationship between insomnia and substance abuse may be a difficult one to define. But it is likely that when insomnia and substance abuse occur together, they are provoked by similar underlying problems. CBT can help to address these problems, to mitigate the side effects of these unhealthy habits, and to decrease the risk of relapse. Insomnia and addiction both often trigger hopelessness, but there is hope. There is hope for better sleep and for a more peaceful life in recovery.
Alta Mira offers comprehensive treatment for people struggling with drug and alcohol addiction as well as co-occurring mental health disorders and process addictions. Contact us to learn more about our renowned treatment programs and how we can help you or your loved one find lasting recovery.