Treatment for Insomnia and Sleep Difficulties

Is Insomnia or Lack of Sleep Disrupting Your Life?

  • Do you find yourself falling asleep on the couch to only feel wide awake when you go to bed?
  • Are you tossing and turning all night and finding it takes forever to fall asleep?
  • Do you find it hard to turn your mind off at night, having non-stop worries and thoughts?
  • Are you constantly waking up tired, wondering if you will ever get enough sleep?
  • Do you often feel drowsy or fall asleep during the day?
  • Are you falling asleep to only keep waking up at night, unable to fall back asleep?
  • Do you wish you didn't need medication to help you with your sleep?

CBT for Insomnia is a sleep cognitive behavioural treatment that helps people to learn how to improve sleep quality and duration. It does this by teaching people how to:

  • Combat negative sleep thoughts (which increase stress and tension at bedtime)
  • Reduce night-time worry, and
  • How to engage in sleep-enhancing behaviours

These sleep skills are grounded in research and are taught over the course of 6-8 weeks. The skills taught are lifetime skills! Which means if sleep difficulties ever occur in the future (e.g., after a difficult life transition, during jet lag, seasonal time changes, etc), you can use these skills again to ensure sleep issues don't resurface or become a long-term problem.

Treatment for Insomnia and Sleep Difficulties

To treat insomnia and sleep difficulties, our therapists are trained in CBT-I, which stands for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia.

CBT-I is effective for primary and secondary/comorbid insomnia and milder forms of chronic sleep difficulties. It is a short-term treatment with long-term results and focuses on what clients can do in the “now” to alleviate their sleep difficulties.

Instead of sleeping medication, CBT-I helps clients overcome insomnia with safe, effective treatment.

The underlying causes of insomnia – thoughts, and behaviors – are learned and can be unlearned.

Our sleep therapists assess each client’s sleep problems and design appropriate treatments that focus on changing negative sleep thoughts and behaviours.


  • Overcome underlying causes of sleep problems
  • Master thoughts and behaviours that generate sleep problems
  • Develop habits that promote sound sleep

CBT-I Treatment Process / Service:

  • An initial individual assessment
  • 5 individual 50-minute sessions (more 1-1 interaction/feedback, flexibility in scheduling sessions) or
  • 5 group-based 2-hour classes over six weeks (more cost-effective, offers social support, reinforcement and modeling)

Treatment Includes:

  • Sleep physiology education
  • Stimulus control
  • Sleep deprivation (strategies to rebalance the sleep-wake cycle)
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Biofeedback
  • Sleep hygiene
  • Sleep habit modification

What the Research Says:

Over 25 years of research at Harvard Medical School, University of Massachusetts, the Mayo Clinic, and more indicates that CBT-I leads to sustained improvements in primary or secondary/ comorbid insomnia.

CBT-I is physiologically, behaviourally, and quantitatively based. It has no known negative side effects.

Who Will benefit from CBT-I?

  • People with long-term problems getting to sleep, staying asleep, or waking up too early and unable to fall asleep again.
  • People experiencing a negative impact from insomnia on daytime functioning, physical and mental health.

Why is CBT-I Beneficial:

  • Addresses underlying causes of insomnia.
  • Eliminates the need for medications that cause serious side-effects, provide limited short-term effectiveness, and the return of symptoms when discontinued.
  • Fosters long-term behavioural change.
  • Can serve as a segue to CBT treatments for other needs.
  • Is covered by most health insurance plans.

What Does CBT-I Not Address?

CBT-I does not directly address but can help alleviate, comorbid conditions such as anxiety, depression, trauma, and chronic pain.

If after treating your insomnia or sleep difficulties, other life concerns become a priority to focus on, this can be discussed with your CBT-I therapist and an internal referral process can occur so you can be connected with another PsychSolutions therapist who specializes in the areas of concerns you have.

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