Americans don’t always sleep well. As many as 1 in 3 people in the U.S. had difficulty with sleep before the COVID-19 pandemic, and more people have had trouble since the pandemic started. In fact, it’s not just Americans, it’s people in most industrialized nations. Sleep is something our ancestors probably had an easier time with than we do, especially before the invention of electric lights and blue-light screen devices.
Sadly, they just seem to stop working so well in the long term. Scientific research shows that behavioral therapies for insomnia work better in the long term (see NY Times article below). Also, if you are over age 65, geriatric experts recommend that doctors should not prescribe many of the commonly used sleep medicines.
Yes it can, even if you’ve had trouble sleeping for years. Scientific studies show that behavioral therapies for insomnia are more effective than medications in the long run for most people in the studies. Don’t take my word for it, check out what the New York Times has to say, Evidence Points to a Better Way to Fight Insomnia
Many people with chronic insomnia spend thousands of dollars on new mattresses, pillows, heating and cooling systems for the bed, only to find that these haven’t fixed the problem.
Now, I’m all in favor of being comfortable! It’s just that with chronic insomnia, that’s usually not the main problem. It may have started with discomfort, but it’s become something else: a brain-body habit of being awake in bed. Behavioral therapies for insomnia address this brain-body habit, working towards new habits so that being in bed signals “sleep” to your brain and body.
Often, if behavioral therapies don’t work, there may be an underlying medical, physiological problem that needs to be addressed, like sleep apnea. If the problem is medical, you will benefit from seeing an M.D. who is board-certified in sleep medicine. Doctors will tell you if you ask whether they have that specialty.
Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia can work alongside medical sleep treatment. Medical sleep problems can be treated and need to be addressed. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has information on medical sleep problems: http://sleepeducation.org
How to find an accredited sleep medicine center: They do not usually offer Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia, but are experts at diagnosing and treating physical sleep problems. Here’s the link: http://sleepeducation.org/find-a-facility.
If you are in Central Colorado, Denver, or Boulder:
A Good Night’s Sleep / A Vital Life LLC can help.
See my contact information.
If you are not in Colorado, here is a web site listing sleep psychologists in other parts of the US:
https://www.behavioralsleep.org/index.php/united-states-sbsm-members. On that web site, you can also look for qualified psychologists in other countries.