Sleep experts agree that cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) is the best insomnia treatment. With all of the drugs out on the market, claiming to be the best insomnia treatment, you might have never heard of the most effective therapy for chronic insomnia. Evidence shows that cognitive behavioral therapy offers the better insomnia treatment. It is longer lasting results than medications, without the harmful side effects. Cognitive behavioral therapy is usually provided by a trained specialist. More recently, internet based programs have been developed to offer cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia through an interactive online platform.

Comparing Insomnia Treatment Effects of CBT-I to Medication

Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia promotes healthy sleep patterns and counteracts habits that interfere with sleep. The effects of CBT-I insomnia treatment are scientifically proven to last longer than medications. People often develop tolerance to medications, making them an inferior long-term insomnia treatment. These medication focus on the symptoms of apnea. As with all medications, there are always side effects–some bizarre. Ambien, for example, may cause sleep related eating disorder and memory loss. Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, in contrast, focuses on reversing the causes of insomnia.

There are several forms of CBT-I including:

  • Stimulus control
  • Sleep restriction
  • Relaxation training and biofeedback
  • Cognitive control and psychotherapy
  • Sleep hygiene training

What to expect with CBT-I

In some cases CBT-I works quickly. Other times it may not offer immediate results. This can be discouraging to some. However, like other learned skills, practice is needed to make it work. Moreover, insomnia treatments are not mutually exclusive. Some patients can benefit from receiving CBT-I while being prescribed sedative medications. Research has demonstrated that CBT-I can also help patients who have become dependent on Insomnia medications to taper off of those medications (of course, lowering the dose of any medication should always be done in consultation with a physician).

If you are looking for a CBT-I specialist in New York, I have produced a list of individuals in the Tri-state area. This is not comprehensive but includes CBT-I professionals in Long Island, New York, Connecticut and New Jersey. I believe I found this list on the AASM website, but I have not been able to find the source recently when finalizing this post. [If I do find it I will edit this post for those who want to find CBT-I professionals practicing outside of the Tri-state area.]

Insomnia and Sleep Apnea

One of the symptoms of sleep apnea is “insomnia.” How is that possible? Isn’t insomnia its own diagnosis? Insomnia is usually an inability to fall asleep or stay asleep. If it is being caused by another disorder such as sleep apnea then it may be a symptom of that disorder. It may also coexist with sleep apnea. Therefore, undergoing evaluation by a trained physician to ensure there is no other sleep disturbance such as sleep apnea is important.

CBT-I experts in Tri-state Area

There are several specialists in the Tri-state area who specialize in CBT-I. Here is a list of several practitioners of cognitive behavioral therapy for Insomnia that are certified by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine:

Name City State
Lauren E. Broch, PhD, D,ABSM Rye Brook NY
Jang B. Chadha, MD Sands Point NY
Paul D’Ambrosio, PhD Stamford CT
Boris Dubrovsky, PhD Bronx NY
Courtney Du Mond, PhD, CBSM Auburn NY
Matthew R. Ebben, PhD Forest Hills NY
Jon Freeman, PhD Brooklyn NY
Paul B. Glovinsky, PhD New York NY
Brydon J.B. Grant, MB, BS East Amherst NY
Shelby Freedman Harris, PsyD Tarrytown NY
Gila Hertz, PhD Dix Hills NY
Tajuddin M. Jiva, MD, DABSM, FACP, FCCP Williamsville NY
Stephen Lund, MD New York NY
Sara Matteson-Rusby, PsyD Brockport NY
Wilfred R. Pigeon, PhD Honeoye Falls NY
Rebecca J. Quattrucci, PhD New York NY
Saul A. Rothenberg, PhD Greenwich CT
Susan Rubman, PhD Heartford CT
Arthur J. Spielman, PhD Larchmont NY
Leslie-Faith Morritt Taub Staten Island NY
Eric Ten Brock, MD Orchard Park NY
Rachel R. Weiss, PhD Westport CT
Elaine Wilson, PhD Princeton NJ

Note: Some of these individuals might be listed as practicing CBT-I in other states but practice cognitive behavioral therapy in New York. For example, I know Dr. Saul Rothenberg practices in NY (as well as CT as listed above) as I worked with him at the Sleep Medicine Center at North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System in Manhasset, NY, and New Hyde Park, NY.