Who is a candidate for cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia?

Michael T. Smith, Michael L. Perlis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Chronic insomnia impacts 1 in 10 adults and is linked to accidents, decreased quality of life, diminished work productivity, and increased long-term risk for medical and psychiatric diseases such as diabetes and depression. Recent National Institutes of Health consensus statements and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine's Practice Parameters recommend that cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) be considered the 1st line treatment for chronic primary insomnia. Growing research also supports the extension of CBT-I for patients with persistent insomnia occurring within the context of medical and psychiatric comorbidity. In the emerging field of behavioral sleep medicine, there has yet to be a consensus point of view about who is an appropriate candidate for CBT-I and how this determination is made. This report briefly summarizes these issues, including a discussion of potential contraindications, and provides a schematic decision-to-treat algorithm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-19
Number of pages5
JournalHealth Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006


  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Insomnia
  • Relaxation
  • Sleep restriction
  • Stimulus control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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