Neuroimaging Correlates of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I): A Systematic Literature Review

Debbie Sabot*, Oliver Baumann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) is the gold-standard non-pharmacological treatment for insomnia, a complex disorder that comprises psychological, behavioral, and physiological components. This systematic literature review aimed to evaluate a growing body of exploratory studies that have examined CBT-I treatment effects using neuroimaging assessment. Nine studies met current review selection criteria, of which six studies compared insomnia groups with good sleepers, waitlist, and/or control groups. CBT-I administration varied in treatment length and duration across the studies, as did neuroimaging assessment, which included task-based and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Functional connectivity abnormalities were observed in participants, including reduced engagement in task-related brain regions and apparent difficulties in regulating default mode brain areas that appeared to reverse following CBT-I treatment. Taken together, the neuroimaging results complement behavioral measures of treatment efficacy, indicating support for the effectiveness of CBT-I treatment in the recovery of brain function and structure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-101
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Cognitive Psychotherapy: an international quarterly
Issue number1
Early online dateJun 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2023


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