Overcoming Insomnia

Welcome to the Overcoming Insomnia program.

The Overcoming Insomnia program is a cognitive behavioral therapy program for insomnia, or CBT-I for short. CBT-I is the recommended treatment for chronic insomnia and involves changing sleep behaviors that are causing insomnia. CBT-I improves sleep in 75-80% of patients. It is also more effective than sleeping pills and helps 90% of patients reduce or eliminate sleeping pills. By improving sleep, CBT-I also improves depression and pain and other health problems in many patients.

The Overcoming Insomnia CBT-I program was developed by Dr. Gregg D. Jacobs based on 30 years of research and clinical practice at the Harvard Medical School and the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Dr. Jacobs' research, funded by the National Institutes of Health, demonstrated that a similar CBT-I program was more effective than Ambien. The Overcoming Insomnia program is for individuals experiencing problems falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking too early in the morning and for individuals who are, and are not, taking sleeping pills.

Light Version

The Overcoming Insomnia program is available in a free "light" version that consists of basic CBT-I tips and guidelines. It is best for individuals who experience sleep problems a few nights per week or less and are not taking sleep medication.

To receive the light version, click here.

Full Version

The Overcoming Insomnia program is also available in a "full" version that is best for individuals who experience sleep problems three or more nights per week or who are taking sleeping pills. The "full" version consists of a five session, five-week PDF (Adobe Reader) program that includes weekly individualized, personalized feedback from Dr. Jacobs on CBT-I techniques, and a guided relaxation techniques MP3. The cost of the "full" version is $30 (equal to a typical office visit co-pay).

The 5 sessions in the Overcoming Insomnia program are organized over a 5-week period as follows:

    1. Session 1: Basic facts about sleep; Conducting your own insomnia assessment
    2. Session 2: Sleep scheduling and stimulus control techniques
    3. Session 3: Cognitive restructuring techniques; Sleep medication tapering techniques
    4. Session 4: Daytime relaxation techniques; Developing stress-reducing, sleep-enhancing attitudes and beliefs
    5. Session 5: Bedtime relaxation techniques; Lifestyle habits that improve sleep

The Overcoming Insomnia program is designed to be a sequential five-week program (e.g., you begin with session 1, and then proceed to session 2, and so on through session 5 over a 5-week period). Although you should spend a week on each session before you move on to the next session, the program can be completed at your own pace since you can print or save the PDF-based treatment sessions. The program is delivered online, can be accessed permanently at any time in the future online, and can be saved to computer. You complete a simple sleep diary each week, email it to Dr. Jacobs, and receive personalized CBT-I guidelines based on your sleep diary.

To purchase (via credit card) the full version that is emailed within two business days via email link, click here.

You can send an email with questions to overcominginsomnia@umassmemorial.org. Response time is usually less than two business days.