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 CBT-I Therapy

Are you experiencing insomnia, which is affecting your ability to function in your day-to-day life? 

At Stark Wellness Clinic we offer effective Cognitive Behavioural Therapy that can help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep, and feel more rested throughout the day. 

What Is CBT-I?

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) is a structured and evidence-based therapeutic approach designed to address the underlying causes of insomnia and improve sleep quality. This modality is a specialized form of CBT used in psychotherapy to identify and resolve the causes of insomnia. It involves a systematic approach to address the various aspects of sleep difficulties, applying new approaches to help break old habits and bring on sleep naturally.

CBT-I is most effective when conducted under the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional or sleep therapist. It is typically delivered in individual or group sessions and involves collaboration between the therapist and the individual experiencing insomnia.

At Stark Wellness Clinic, we offer a structured 8-week program for treating insomnia. The goal of our CBT-I program is to address both the behavioural and cognitive factors contributing to sleep difficulties. Individual needs and responses can vary, so adjustments to the program may be necessary based on ongoing assessments.

CBT for insomnia can provide safe and non-prescription solutions to various sleep-related issues, including stimulus control therapy, so you can overcome the obstacles you face to make the necessary behavioural changes. 

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CBT-I’s Effectiveness Is Well-Documented

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Cognitive behavioural treatment for insomnia is considered highly effective in the treatment of chronic sleep issues. Numerous research studies and clinical trials have demonstrated its efficacy. It is also recommended as the first-line treatment for chronic insomnia by various medical organizations, including the American College of Physicians and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.*
For some patients, CBT-I is more effective than taking medications and can create natural, long-term improvements in sleep quality. This treatment method has also proven to be effective in people that are at high risk of experiencing insomnia, including pregnant women, individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and those experiencing insomnia after cancer treatment. 

Stark Wellness Clinic:  CBT-I Therapy

Our Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia program involves a structured approach to address the various aspects of sleep difficulties.

Our CBT-I therapy starts by focusing on cognitive restructuring, which targets and challenges negative thoughts and beliefs about sleep. This can vary with each individual and, although the program follows a systematic plan, we can customize our approach based on your specific needs and symptoms. Following this initial phase, we will use a combination of sleep hygiene education, stimulus control, and sleep restrictions, as well as relaxation techniques and specific tracking methods to optimize your success.

Some form of talk therapy is incorporated into the sessions as this can help build trust and a level of safety and understanding between you and your therapist and help you gain a deeper understanding of your sleep issues. 

How Does Our CBT-I therapy Work?

A therapist will walk through the program with you and provide you the opportunity to familiarise yourself with each step.

Week 1-2 Assessment & Education

Sleep Assessment: We will conduct a comprehensive sleep assessment to understand your individual sleep patterns, habits, and specific challenges.

Education on Sleep Hygiene: The CBT-I therapist will introduce basic sleep hygiene principles, covering aspects like optimizing the sleep environment, establishing a consistent sleep schedule, and avoiding stimulants before bedtime.

Week 3-4 Stimulus Control & Sleep Restriction

Stimulus Control: Your therapist will teach you to associate the bed with sleep by limiting activities in bed to sleep-related behaviours and by discouraging stimulating activities in bed.

Sleep Restriction: You will learn to implement a controlled sleep schedule, gradually increasing time in bed as sleep efficiency improves. This helps consolidate sleep and reduce time spent awake in bed.

Week 5-6 Cognitive Restructuring

Identifying and Challenging Negative Thoughts: Together, we will explore and challenge any negative thoughts or anxieties related to sleep. Cognitive restructuring aims to change negative thought patterns that contribute to insomnia.

Week 7-8 Relaxation Techniques & Review

Relaxation Techniques: Your sleep therapist will introduce relaxation exercises, such as progressive muscle relaxation or deep breathing, to help you manage stress and promote a state of calm before bedtime.
Review and Refinement: We will review your progress and make necessary adjustments to your sleep schedule and strategies. This also includes discussing any challenges you’ve faced during the program and providing additional support and guidance.

What Else You Can Expect from Us Throughout the Program

Sleep Diary: Encourage you to maintain a detailed sleep diary throughout the program to track sleep patterns, habits, and progress.

Support and Motivation: Provide ongoing support and motivation, such as acknowledging achievements and addressing any setbacks with a positive and forward-looking approach.

Individualized Approach: Recognize that each person's experience with insomnia is unique and tailor the program based on your individual responses, preferences, and specific challenges.

Communication: Maintain open communication with you, addressing any concerns or questions promptly.

Gradual Changes: Emphasize the gradual nature of the program. Sustainable improvements in sleep often take time, and consistency is key.ogram based on your individual responses, preferences, and specific challenges.

Transition to Independence: Empower you to apply the learned strategies independently as you progress through the program. Discuss strategies for maintaining good sleep hygiene beyond the structured program.

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The Unique Benefits of CBT for Insomnia

CBT-I has been shown to produce enduring improvements in sleep, and its benefits often extend beyond the duration of the treatment. Many individuals who undergo CBT-I therapy experience sustained improvements in sleep quality.

Aside from that, CBT for insomnia also has other unique benefits, such as:

  • Addressing Root Causes: CBT-I targets the underlying causes of insomnia, including behavioural and cognitive factors. By addressing these factors, this treatment method aims to break the cycle of insomnia and promote lasting improvements in sleep.

  • Comparable or Superior to Medications: In several studies, CBT-I has been found to be as effective as, or even more effective than, medications for treating insomnia. Importantly, these benefits are not dependent on the continued use of medication.

  • Reduction in Sleep Medication Dependence: For individuals who may be using sleep medications, CBT-I treatment can provide a viable alternative or complement. It has been associated with a reduction in reliance on sleep medications, which can be especially beneficial for those concerned about potential side effects or dependency issues.

  • Improvements in Daytime Functioning: Beyond improving sleep, CBT-I has been shown to enhance daytime functioning, including cognitive performance, mood, and overall quality of life. By addressing sleep-related anxiety with CBT and promoting healthy sleep habits during therapy sessions, individuals often experience a positive impact on their daily activities.

As a reminder, it's important to note that the effectiveness of CBT-I may vary from person to person, and individual responses can be influenced by factors such as motivation, adherence to treatment, and the presence of underlying medical or psychological conditions.


Additionally, treatment is typically most effective when delivered by trained healthcare professionals, such as sleep therapists or psychotherapists who specialize in cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia.

Why Stark Wellness Clinic Specializes In CBT-I Therapy

We know what it’s like to find yourself laying in bed for hours trying to fall asleep at night, constantly waking up during the night, and having a hard time falling back asleep. When there are disruptions in the quality or amount of sleep you get, it can greatly affect your energy level, mood, and decision-making and cause distress or even risk your safety. 

CBT-I is the front-line treatment for insomnia, and we have seen this modality change people’s lives as they experience a good night's sleep. 

Let Us Help You Change Your Life’s Trajectory

If you are persistently struggling to fall asleep, stay asleep, or get a good quality of sleep, our  CBT for insomnia therapy at Stark Wellness Clinic in downtown Toronto can improve your symptoms and your well-being.

We invite you to book a free, 15-minute consultation with Paige or Tatum our CBTI experts to acquire more information on our services. You can also email us at

Our services are offered both in-person and virtually as our top priority is to offer a safe and non-judgmental space for our clients.

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