I have chronic insomnia, and I’m always looking for ways to alleviate the condition without using expensive prescription drugs—and risking the rebound insomnia that accompanies their use. I exercise regularly, avoid caffeine after 2 p.m. and follow a bedtime routine, but the problem persists. That’s why this article on a review of research by the nonprofit Cochrane Collaboration on the use of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in cases of chronic fatigue syndrome caught my eye.
CBT posits that certain thought patterns and emotional responses cause or worsen mental maladies. Though insomnia and chronic fatigue syndrome are different, it might be that if a non-drug treatment works for one, it could work for the other—especially since my nights awake are spent in anxious worrying, something CBT is designed to change.
Though CBT has been around since the 1960s when it was identified by Aaron “Tim” Beck—read more about the therapy and its instigator in an upcoming Cerebrum article—its full potential has yet to be realized. Even in the case of chronic fatigue syndrome, CBT’s benefits compared to those of exercise and relaxation techniques have not yet been confirmed. But as for myself, I’m going to relax, think positive thoughts and save that prescription money for a trip to the therapist.