BBTI is just what it sounds like: a short-term, highly targeted course of counseling targeted at changing a person’s behaviors.
In a recent study, researchers worked with a group of 79 men and women (average age: 71.7), all of whom were suffering from chronic insomnia. Participants were divided into two groups: one study group received a course of BBTI, which included two individual in-person counseling sessions and two telephone sessions, all conducted by a nurse clinician. The entire course of BBTI treatment took place over a single month. The behavioral therapy sessions focused on helping participants to create sleep routines built on four fundamental goals:
- Reducing the total amount of time spent in bed
- Getting out of bed at the same time every day
- Refraining from going to bed until you feel sleepy
- Not staying in bed if you’re not actually sleeping
Participants in a second group received the same basic information and instructions in the form of printed educational materials, but did not participate in counseling sessions with a health professional.
Both groups saw improvements to their sleep, but the difference in the degree of improvement between the two groups is pretty amazing. Two-thirds of participants who received BBTI saw improvements to their sleep, compared to 25 percent in the group who received only educational material with no behavioral counseling. Among those who received BBTI, 55 percent were able to eliminate their insomnia altogether, compared to 13 percent of participants in the materials-only group. And the improvements in insomnia didn’t go away — researchers followed up with their subjects six months after treatment, and found that participants had been able to maintain the changes they made.
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