Sleep disturbances, common among those in recovery, are not only a nuisance, they can also derail new-found sobriety. When you\u2019re sleep deprived, you don\u2019t function at your optimum level. Even without being in recovery, sleep deprivation makes a person more susceptible to developing infections, high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease \u2013 and to making on-the-job mistakes, driving errors and having other problems with learning and memory. Multiply those problems with those that you experience in recovery \u2013 depression, anxiety, guilt, shame, feelings of inadequacy and more \u2013 and you have a nearly sure-fire recipe for disaster. It doesn\u2019t have to be so. Sure, there are medications that are available to aid in sleep, but these shouldn\u2019t be taken by those in recovery. They are only meant for a few days, and they can easily become habit-forming. Not a good thing for a person in recovery. You never want to add to your addiction profile by taking yet another drug when you just got clean and sober through treatment. Besides, sleeping pills lose their effectiveness over time, and also contribute to the following: \u2022\tPotentially severe interactions with alcohol and other medications \u2022\tRebound insomnia or constant grogginess that leads to more insomnia \u2022\tShort-term amnesia, dizziness, nausea, weakness, confusion and high blood pressure \u2022\tMask underlying causes, such as depression, heart trouble, or other diseases, and cause delay in seeking treatment \u2022\tBizarre behavior that goes beyond traditional sleepwalking Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Can Help One treatment therapy you may be familiar with from your days in treatment is cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT. In fact, CBT has emerged as a very effective treatment for those suffering from insomnia, or chronic sleep disturbances. It is an excellent and safe alternative to sleeping pills. This short-term treatment also can assist in ridding you of depression, panic attacks, anxiety and other problems associated with your former drug or alcohol use. In a review of insomnia treatments conducted by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine in 2006, CBT was found to provide sleep benefits that are sustainable over a long period of time. How CBT Works CBT works by helping you to change thoughts and actions. With respect to an inability to sleep, CBT targets those thoughts and actions that interfere with sleep. The approach is based on the fact that what you think and how you act affect the way you feel. Treatment usually requires 4 to 8 30-minute sessions with a trained CBT sleep therapist. Through CBT techniques, you learn to: \u2022\tRecognize and change false beliefs that may be interfering with your good night\u2019s sleep \u2022\tDeal with misperceptions you may have about how long you actually sleep \u2022\tReprogram your brain\u2019s sleep-wake cycle \u2022\tTarget specific behaviors that negatively impact sleep, including lack of exercise and drinking caffeinated beverages before going to sleep Different CBT Elements for Dealing With Insomnia CBT uses a multi-faceted approach to dealing with insomnia, just as it does in treating other conditions. Some or all of the following may be effective in your particular case. But CBT does require practice in order to be most effective. \u2022\tRelaxation training \u2013 includes muscle relaxation, meditation and hypnosis \u2022\tBiofeedback \u2013 measures muscle tension and brain wave frequency, with the goal of helping you to control them \u2022\tSleep restriction \u2013 reducing the amount of time you spend in bed not sleeping \u2022\tSleep hygiene \u2013 eliminating negatively impactful activities such as drinking caffeine, smoking, not exercising regularly \u2022\tStimulus control \u2013 helps you associate the bedroom with only two activities: sleep and sex \u2022\tRemaining passively awake \u2013 a technique that helps you avoid anxiety about going to sleep, forgetting about it, so that you eventually fall asleep \u2022\tCognitive control and psychotherapy \u2013 A technique to eliminate or control worrisome thoughts or mistaken beliefs that keep you awake How to Find a CBT Insomnia Therapist Contact your aftercare counselor or therapist for a recommendation on CBT for your insomnia. Another suggestion is to check out the American Academy of Sleep Medicine website at \/\/www.aasmnet.org\/. Click on the \u201cPatients and Public\u201d tab at the top of the page, and click the link to \u201cFind a Sleep Center.\u201d You will be able to find a sleep center by clicking on the map. Another source is the National Sleep Foundation at \/\/www.sleepfoundation.org\/ and click on \u201cFind a Sleep Professional\u201d tab. There\u2019s also a good list of Q&A on \u201cChoosing a CBT for Insomnia Specialist\u201d in this link \/\/www.sleepfoundation.org\/article\/ask-the-expert\/choosing-cbt-insomnia-specialist. Also listen to some CBT tapes or read books on CBT and insomnia available in your local library. These may be a more practical help until you are able to find a CBT therapist in your area. The important thing is not to give up. You deserve a restful night\u2019s sleep and, in fact, it\u2019s the only way you\u2019ll be able to continue with your goals for your recovery. Don\u2019t sell yourself short getting by on less sleep than you really need. With practice and determination, you can lick your sleep disturbance problem \u2013 just as you kicked drugs and alcohol. After all, you\u2019ve got all the tools at your disposal. Now, it\u2019s just up to you to use them.