by EBSCO Medical Review Board

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one type of psychotherapy. It involves meeting with a licensed therapist on a regular basis. Therapy may be in an individual or group setting. CBT works on finding and treating psychological issues that contribute to insomnia.

Relaxation techniques may help to ease anxiety and body tension. These can include meditation , visualization, and deep breathing. These techniques can help the mind and body to relax, which helps sleep. It takes some practice to learn these techniques.

Some people with insomnia spend too much time in bed trying to sleep. They may benefit from a sleep restriction program. This program allows a person to stay in bed only for the time they actually sleep. It does not include the time spent in bed tossing and turning. The person then slowly adds more time in bed. This is done until they reach a more normal night's sleep.

Reconditioning helps some people sleep better. It involves not using the bed for anything other than sleep and sex. A person is advised to go to bed only when sleepy. If unable to fall asleep, they are to get up. They are to stay up until sleepy, and then return to bed. Throughout this process, naps are avoided. The person wakes up and goes to bed at the same time each day. Eventually, the body associates the bed and bedtime with sleep.


Haynes J, Talbert M, et al. Cognitive behavioral therapy in the treatment of insomnia. South Med J. 2018;111(2):75-80.

Insomnia. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: Accessed March 15, 2022.

Insomnia. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: Accessed March 15, 2022

Insomnia. National Sleep Foundation website. Available at: Accessed March 15, 2022.

Insomnia in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Accessed March 15, 2022.

Revision Information