Areas of Specialty

Insomnia represents an immense burden in terms of human suffering, economic costs, and other consequences to the individual and society. The many available sleep medications, whether prescribed or over the counter, can have unwanted side effects, lose effectiveness over time, foster dependency, and bolster the belief that the cure for insomnia comes from something external. Most importantly, however, these sleep aids don’t cure insomnia because they don’t treat the causes. Unfortunately, many individuals with insomnia believe they have only two alternatives:  take sleeping pills or live with the problem. 

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  • Individuals with problems falling asleep or waking up during the night
  • Individuals with poor quality of sleep
  • Individuals who would like to reduce or eliminate the use of sleep medications

Over 60% of adults complain of difficulty sleeping, half of these chronically. In 3 head to head comparisons that compared the efficacy of CBT-I to sleeping pills, the score is 3 to 0 in favor of CBT-I.  CBT has been endorsed by the National Institutes of Health as an effective and preferred method for treating insomnia.  The CBT-I treatment program is based on based on decades of research and clinical practice at Harvard Medical School and the University of Massachusetts Medical School involving over 10,000 patients.  Unlike sleeping pills, CBT-I addresses the underlying causes of insomnia, sleep thoughts (cognitions) and sleep behaviors (habits), which are learned and can be unlearned.  Some examples include:

  • negative, distorted thoughts and beliefs about insomnia
  • feelings of loss of control over sleep
  • spending excessive time in bed
  • going to bed too early or sleeping too late
  • trying to control sleep rather than letting it happen
  • lying awake in bed, frustrated and tense

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Occasional bouts of insomnia are normal reactions to significant life events such as relationship changes, losses, family or work-related stressors.  This short-term insomnia typically persists for a few days or weeks before sleep reverts to its normal state.  Some individuals react to short-term insomnia by worrying about sleep loss, lay awake at night feeling frustrated and anxious about insomnia, and become apprehensive about going to bed.  Consequently, the bed becomes associated with sleeplessness and frustration, and becomes a learned cue for wakefulness and insomnia. In an attempt to cope, most individuals with insomnia begin to engage in an assortment of sleep behaviors that may seem to help in the short run, but actually sustain insomnia

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia includes:

  • an initial individual assessment
  • five 45 minute individual treatment sessions over a 6 week period
  • typical session consists of education, presentation of new techniques and discussion of newly presented material and practice of previously learned techniques, including:
    • sleep scheduling
    • changing sleep thoughts and behaviors
    • lifestyle habits that improve sleep
    • relaxation techniques
    • medication tapering techniques

​Who Would Benefit from CBT-I?

​​​​How Chronic Insomnia Evolves

​Research on CBT-I


75% experience significantly improved sleep

85- 90% reduce or eliminate sleeping pills

More effective than sleeping pills!

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insomnia treatment red bank
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Lauren Pellizzi LLC

Specialized OCD & Anxiety Treatment