Tests and treatments

Healthy sleeping: cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT-I)

What is it?

Cognitive behaviour therapy for insomnia is a structured group programme where people can learn how to sleep more efficiently and how to improve the quality of their sleep. For seven weeks (sessions of one-and-a-half hours), several important cornerstones will be discussed in a group setting:

  • insight into one's own sleep pattern using a sleep diary
  • psychological education: What is healthy sleep? What mechanisms perpetuate sleep problems?
  • sleep behaviour: address bad sleep habits, sleep restriction and stimulus control (associate the right stimuli with sleep)
  • deal with thoughts that arise and interrup sleep
  • learn how to apply relaxation techniques

Scientific research shows that 80% of the patients who follow this form of therapy sleep better afterwards.

When is it indicated?

A good night's rest is essential for everyone. One out of every five Belgians suffers from insomnia. Poor sleep can really wear you down. You are less able to concentrate on work, you become irritable and you worry whether you will be able to sleep at all the next night. The sleep problem takes on a life of it's own and you get caught in a vicious cycle. Sleep problems are continuing to increase. The use of sleep medication has also grown steadily.

In case of persistent insomnia, we offer a form of sleep training in which you gain insight into your disturbed sleep pattern and learn skills to deal with your own insomnia. This will help you enjoy an invigorating night's sleep.

In CBT-i, the main goal is to break the vicious circle of prolonged insomnia . Specifically, it is about increasing self-reliance, self-monitoring and teaching problem-solving skills.

In order to participate in the sleep course, you must first schedule an appointment with a neurologist to assess the nature of your sleep problems. If a behavioural therapeutic approach to your sleep problems is indicated, you will be referred to a psychologist. During the first conversation, the psychologist will review your sleep-wake schedule. The influence that sleep problems have on your daily life will be discussed. You will also discuss whether cognitive group therapy would be the most appropriate approach for you.

Register for sleep training

Neurologist intake:

Centres and specialist areas


Latest publication date: 05/02/2021
Supervising author: Dr Aers Isabelle