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Sleeping Better with CBT

Digital Cognitive Therapy Has Beneficial Effect for Patients with Insomnia: Reflections


With sleep-related concerns impacting many individuals throughout their lifetime, determining beneficial treatments and strategies to help manage sleep-related challenges is of great importance. “Physicians Weekly” recently covered a study by Lu and collegues (2023) focusing on digital cognitive behavior therapy for insomnia (dCBT-I), mentioning it as a helpful approach for improving symptoms related to insomnia.

These dCBT-I resources (e.g., apps, web-based programs) have shown to be beneficial on their own, although combined dCBT-I and medication may display longer-lasting benefits for symptom management. Considering the significant evidence to support that CBT-I is a valuable approach to managing symptoms of insomnia (for a review, see Mitchell et al., 2012), this article has strong implications for the mental health field. Given the large variety of factors that may limit access to treatment or increase wait times for initiation of care, knowledge of the benefits of dCBT-I may increase availability to evidence-based resources during extended wait times for services.

If you are looking for therapists or treatment in the area of insomnia, check out our Find a CBT Therapist tool ( to find providers with related experience in your area.

Author: Dominique Legros, M.A.

Editor: Nicholas Crimarco, Ph.D.


Lu, M., Zhang, Y., Zhang, J., Huang, S., Huang, F., Wang, T., Wu, F., Mao, H., & Huang, Z. (2023). Comparative effectiveness of digital cognitive behavioral therapy vs medication therapy among patients with insomnia. JAMA Network Open, 6(4), e237597.

Mitchell, M. D., Gehrman, P., Perlis, M., & Umscheid, C. A. (2012). Comparative effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia: A systematic review. BMC Family Practice, 13(1), 40.


Photo courtesy Claudio Scott, Pixabay

Related Information

What Is Cognitive Behavior Therapy?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a type of treatment that is based firmly on research findings.  It places emphasis on changing your cognitions (thoughts) or behaviors (actions) in order to effect change in how you feel. These approaches help people in achieving specific changes or goals.

Changes or goals might involve:

A way of acting: like smoking less or being more outgoing;
A way of feeling: like helping a person to be less scared, less depressed, or less anxious;
A way of thinking: like learning to problem-solve or get rid of self-defeating thoughts;
A way of dealing with physical or medical problems: like reducing back pain or helping a person stick to a doctor’s suggestions.

Cognitive behavioral therapists usually focus more on the current situation and its solution, rather than the past. They concentrate on a person’s views and beliefs about their life. CBT is an effective treatment for individuals, parents, children, couples, and families. The goal of CBT is to help people improve and gain more control over their lives by changing behaviors that don’t work well to ones that do.

How to Get Help

If you are looking for help, either for yourself or someone else, you may be tempted to call someone who advertises in a local publication or who comes up from a search of the Internet. You may, or may not, find a competent therapist in this manner. It is wise to check on the credentials of a psychotherapist. It is expected that competent therapists hold advanced academic degrees. They should be listed as members of professional organizations, such as the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies or the American Psychological Association. Of course, they should be licensed to practice in your state. You can find competent specialists who are affiliated with local universities or mental health facilities or who are listed on the websites of professional organizations. You may, of course, visit our website ( and click on “Find a CBT Therapist”

The Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) is an interdisciplinary organization committed to the advancement of a scientific approach to the understanding and amelioration of problems of the human condition. These aims are achieved through the investigation and application of behavioral, cognitive, and other evidence-based principles to assessment, prevention, and treatment.

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