Frequently Asked Questions

What is “healthy” sleep?

Uninterrupted, restorative, restful sleep.

Why is sleep important?

Good sleep:

• Improves memory
• Reduces stress and depression
• Improves daytime mood and energy level
• Reduces substance abuse
• Supports cardiovascular health (heart and blood pressure)
• Protects against diabetes
• Reduces appetite and controls weight gain

I have heard that you need 8 hours of sleep. If you get less, do you have a sleep disorder?

People vary. Your individual need for sleep is whatever it takes for you to feel rested the next day.

What is the goal of treatment?

I work with you to help you get more sleep, and more restful sleep. You should also be free from worry about your sleep.

Who can benefit from this treatment?

Typically, people who contact me are hard-working and highly motivated but have developed a sleep difficulty that they cannot shake on their own. Often, clients have already tried strategies such as changing their mattress, using eye masks and ear plugs, taking over-the-counter medicines such as Tylenol PM or herbal remedies such as Valerian – but they are still suffering.

People who feel frustrated or embarrassed that they can’t manage sleep problems on their own, or who are seeking alternatives to using pills to sleep, generally achieve great results from this treatment.

In addition, individuals managing chronic health conditions that interfere with sleep often find this treatment extremely useful.

High stress levels, either from work or family situations, or because of the sleep problem itself, are common among clients. People with insomnia often report feeling helpless about their sleep problem – as if they have no control over their sleep.

My treatment puts you back in control, giving you skills to manage stress, calm your mind and body, and sleep restfully.

Will this treatment help me in other ways, besides sleep?

Yes. Some commonly reported benefits include:

• stress reduction
• calmer mind
• less anxiety and depression
• better ability to regulate emotions
• improved social relationships
• better physical health
• more control over your life
• more daytime energy

How long should treatment take?

In uncomplicated cases of insomnia the treatment is remarkably fast compared to standard psychological treatments. Scientific studies indicate that a great majority of these cases demonstrate at least a 50% reduction of symptoms within 4-10 sessions.

In addition, follow-up studies strongly demonstrate that these improvements are maintained and even strengthened over time.

I am taking medication for my sleep. Can I learn to sleep without the use of drugs?

Of course. Medication can be an effective tool but often becomes a source of distress and dependency. One of my specialties is helping clients reduce or eliminate sleep medications. Many clients sleep fine as long as they take medication, but they come to me because they wish to sleep without resorting to pills. My philosophy is to help clients learn to reduce stress, and then gradually reduce use of medications once they have a “safety net” of skills in place. I can work with your physician to ensure that this process happens safely and effectively.

This approach builds confidence, competence and a sense of control over sleep. Clients learn they are improving because of what they are doing, not what pill they are taking.

I am already in psychotherapy. Can you help me with my sleep without interfering with the therapy?

Yes. About 10% of my clients are already involved in regular psychotherapy and wish to continue that relationship. Our work together will focus on helping you to develop tools to reduce stress and improve your sleep.

I suffer from chronic nightmares. Can this treatment help me?

Absolutely. Using Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, most individuals with frequent nightmares experience a drastic reduction in their nightmares in as little as 2-3 sessions.

How can I set up an initial consultation?

I can be reached by voicemail at 347 585 0987 or at my email:

What is involved at the initial consultation?

Initial consultations are two 90-minute sessions, usually spaced one week apart. I will also ask you to complete a few questionnaires about your sleep and how you cope with stress. Following this initial assessment, I will develop a plan designed for your individual needs to help you relax and sleep well.

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Dr. Ross Levin PhD