Frequently asked questions

Will my sleep problems sort themselves out?


If you have been experiencing poor sleep for three or more nights a week for more than three months, despite giving yourself sufficient time in bed, and it’s affecting your wellbeing and daytime functioning, your sleep difficulties are unlikely to spontaneously resolve. It’s time to take action to improve your sleep.




What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for insomnia (CBTi)?


Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for insomnia (CBTi) is recognised internationally by sleep experts as the gold-standard treatment for insomnia. It’s a proven, natural and very learnable way to improve these chronic sleep difficulties, using thought and behaviour training.




Who is most suited for thought and behaviour training for sleep (CBTi)?


  • You experience poor sleep on three or more nights a week (difficulties falling asleep, staying asleep, waking early, or poor-quality sleep)
  • These troubles have been going on for three months or longer
  • It’s affecting your daytime functioning and wellbeing
  • Your GP has ruled out any medical causes for your sleep difficulties, and other sleep disorders
  • You’re motivated to explore a natural, long-term solution
  • You don’t want to rely on sleeping pills or other sleep-aids
  • You want an evidence-based approach to sleep improvement
  • You’re keen to take charge of your sleep
  • You are willing to take the time to learn to do things differently.




What are the benefits of improved sleep?


Sleep is an essential pillar for health and the benefits are far-reaching. By day, better sleep can improve focus, concentration, memory, productivity, creativity, stabilise food consumption, lift mood and emotions. It can help with the propensity to exercise, weight stability, fertility, virility/libido, and immunity. With reduced risks of accidents, it also improves safety at work and on the roads. Longer-term, sleeping well supports good health by reducing one of the risk factors of anxiety, depression, obesity, diabetes, heart attack, stroke, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. There are countless upsides to improving sleep health now and for the future. And you feel awesome!




Is thought and behaviour training for sleep (CBTi) the right approach for my sleep difficulties?


While CBTi is the best approach for a lot of people struggling with their sleep, it’s not the answer to all sleep difficulties. There are some sleep disorders and health conditions that on the surface just seem like difficulties falling asleep, staying asleep or poor-quality sleep. Some of these can be serious. So, it’s important to understand your situation and get clarity about what you’re working with. You can do this through consultation with your GP, a sleep specialist, or get initial guidance using the sleep assessment/review in Part One of our Sleep Easy book, or in an initial consultation with one of our sleep coaches.




Which Sleep Haven option is right for me?


With options to suit everyone, from the independent self-driver to those needing tailored one-on-one support, you can explore what each option offers and find your perfect fit.
View our sleep care options.




Do I need to consult my doctor/health professional about my sleep difficulties?


We always recommend you let your doctor or healthcare professional know about your sleep difficulties and discuss whether CBTi is appropriate for you. These professionals are across your full health history, current situation, any medication you are on, and can provide the best medical advice. With the sleep assessment and sleep diary included in the Sleep Easy book/programme, you can efficiently update them on relevant aspects of your sleep within your allocated appointment time. Please check in with our medical disclaimer here




Is thought and behaviour training for sleep (CBTi) really the best approach?


The CBTi protocol for treating ongoing insomnia-related sleep difficulties has been clinically validated and is endorsed as the gold standard, first-line treatment by the Australasian Sleep Association (ASA), the European Sleep Research Society (ESRS) and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). It is the best option available.




What research supports the effectiveness of thought and behaviour training for sleep (CBTi)?


Over the years, research has shown that for those with persistent sleep difficulties (referred to by sleep specialists as chronic insomnia), thought and behaviour training for sleep (CBTi) works for around 70% of people. This is similar to the effectiveness of sleeping pills, yet thought and behaviour training for sleep provides a person with sleep rather than ‘sedation’. It’s also 100% natural, has no side-effects, and offers a sustainable long term solution. 1. M. Ree, M. Junge & D. Cunnington, ‘Australasian Sleep Association position statement regarding the use of psychological/behavioral treatments in the management of insomnia in adults,’ Sleep Medicine, 2017, vol. 36, S43–S47 2. D. Riemann, C. Baglioni, C, Bassetti, et al., ‘European guideline for the diagnosis and treatment of insomnia’, Journal of Sleep Research, 2017, vol.26, no. 6, December, pp. 675–700 3. M.J. Sateia, D.J. Buysse, A.D. Krystal, et al. ‘Clinical practice guideline for the pharmacologic treatment of chronic insomnia in adults: an American Academy of Sleep Medicine clinical practice guideline’, Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 2017, vol.13, no. 2, February, pp. 307–49




Who is thought & behaviour training for sleep (CBTi) NOT suitable for?


Sleep Haven’s CBTi-based programmes are not recommended for the following:

  • People who have a significant medical condition affecting their health - whether it’s suspected, being investigated, diagnosed, or being treated.
  • People with unstable illnesses or degenerative diseases.
  • People who have a psychiatric disorder.
  • People with severe anxiety or depression.
  • People with issues of substance abuse.
  • People with epilepsy.
  • Pregnant women.
  • People parenting babies and young children.
  • People at risk of serious accidents at work or in their daily lives.
  • People at risk of falls.
  • People with a sleep disorder, that is not a form of insomnia. This includes sleep disorders such as sleep apnoea, narcolepsy, parasomnia, circadian rhythm disorder, etc
  • Teenagers and children.
Read more on our Medical Disclaimer here




What if I’m on sleeping pills?


The safest and most sustainable long-term treatment for persistent insomnia are non-drug strategies, so that’s great that you are exploring CBTi. This thought and behaviour training for sleep can be used alongside sleeping pills as you build confidence, healthy sleep habits, and can replace sleeping pills. The decision about how and when to come off your sleeping pills needs to be made in consultation with your doctor or pharmacist, especially if you have been using them for more than a month. Coming off sleeping pills is best done by gradual dose reduction (tapering) to manage or avoid the ‘rebound insomnia’ that can come from sleeping pill withdrawal.




What if I’m so exhausted I can’t face doing a sleep improvement programme?


Well done for owning it! You have a couple of choices to consider. Buy the Sleep Easy book and have it on hand for when you’re ready to explore improving your sleep. Or if you’re really struggling with sleep debt, talk to your healthcare professional and discuss whether a short course of sleeping medication is appropriate to get a temporary reprieve from sleeplessness. A bit of time could help you gain the motivation and energy to commit to our CBTi programme for a long-term solution.




What if I’ve had trouble sleeping for years?


Thought and behaviour training for sleep (CBTi) has been proven to be effective, even for those people whose difficulties with insomnia have persisted for years. Our founder, Bernice, struggled with chronic insomnia-related sleep difficulties for almost a decade before successfully turning her nights around using CBTi.




What if I have poor sleep as well as chronic pain?


Pain can make it difficult to fall asleep, stay asleep, or affect the quality of your sleep. Then lack of sleep can make you more sensitive to pain. Thought and behaviour training for sleep (CBTi) will support you in your sleep improvement journey but it’s also important you consult with your doctor to find a way to manage your pain at the same time. You will have a better outcome if you address both challenges at the same time




How long does it take to experience improvements with CBTi?


Each person’s sleep improvement journey is different and their body will respond more to some protocols and less to others. Within four weeks of implementing the core programme you will know if this approach is working for you. By experiencing improvements in your sleeping patterns, mood, energy, and daytime functioning, you will know that it’s right for you and will be compelled to continue the journey.




Will I have to stop drinking coffee and alcohol?


These substances are known to mess with sleep. In the programme, you will learn more about how they tend to affect sleep patterns and most importantly what they do to your sleep. By understanding your body’s response to these beverages, you can make better choices about how much and when to have them – knowing what you can get away with.




Can I get it subsidised by my health insurance/employer?


We would love to say ‘absolutely’, but at this stage funding for sleep difficulties related to insomnia are scarce, despite sleep health being so vital for long-term physical and mental health. Even so, it’s worth checking to see if cover for proactive steps towards sleep health are included in your agreement.