Trouble sleeping? How to get a good nights sleep without sleeping pills

Posted at 5:00 AM, Jul 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-26 05:00:08-04

One out of four of us say we have trouble sleeping. Many pop a sleeping pill. But most of those drugs can come with side effects, and Consumer Reports analysis finds they don’t work all that well. New research points to a better solution for insomnia, one with no side effects. It’s called cognitive behavioral therapy.

Cognitive behavioral therapy has been shown to improve the amount of sleep you get and the quality of your sleep, and to help limit the number of times you waken at night.

Here’s how treatment usually works: You’ll be asked to keep a sleep diary along with rating your sleep and how you feel the next day. A therapist will review that information and suggest strategies to improve the amount and quality of sleep you’re getting. He or she will also help you change your daily routine to set your body’s wake-sleep cycle.

And because sleeping better makes you feel better during the day, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine says that cognitive behavioral therapy can significantly improve your overall well-being and quality of life.

Professional cognitive behavioral therapy requires about two months of weekly sessions and is usually covered by insurance. You can find a cognitive behavioral therapist in your area at


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