A Conversation with GoodSleep® Creator, Dr. Gregg Jacobs
A good day starts with GoodSleepTM
How an employee sleeps at night directly impacts how they function and perform at work, thereby impacting productivity, safety, health, health care costs, and more. While a company can outsource sleep education and training with CIRCADIAN’s Corporate Sleep Programs™, they cannot outsource an employee’s sleep.
CIRCADIAN® is the global leader in providing research, technology and consulting services to companies that operate around the clock. Recognizing that demands on the global workforce increasingly stretch the boundaries of employee work hours, there is a need to provide sleep solutions for ALL corporate employees, including those who sleep at night. CIRCADIAN’S Corporate Sleep Programs are designed to address their sleep and fatigue issues for those who work “normal” daytime hours.
Integral to CIRCADIAN’s Corporate Sleep Programs is GoodSleep, a cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) program developed by CIRCADIAN consultant and renowned sleep and insomnia expert, Dr. Gregg Jacobs.
About Dr. Gregg Jacobs
Dr. Jacobs is a leading authority on the treatment of insomnia and has spent the last 25 years researching and treating sleep problems at Harvard Medical School and the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
Dr. Jacobs developed the first drug-free program for insomnia, which has proven to be, more effective than sleeping pills. He has taught his insomnia program to thousands of patients and to major corporations, such as Raytheon, Biogen, Reebok, and Fidelity. Dr. Jacobs used his revolutionary insomnia program to develop GoodSleep.
GoodSleep is a 5-week, self-guided audio and/or workbook-based program for people to improve their sleep by implementing behavior modifications. This CBT program has been proven to help hundreds of thousands of people to improve their sleep.
Nancy Rothstein, Director of CIRCADIAN’s Corporate Sleep Programs, had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Gregg Jacobs to ask him about trends in sleep habits and the role of GoodSleep in correcting sleep problems.
How did you become involved in the field of sleep?
Dr. Jacobs: I specialized in behavioral medicine and health psychology, two fields in medicine and psychology that were concerned with the impact of stress and lifestyle on health. Because sleep problems are so common, and non-drug methods could clearly be applied to the treatment of insomnia as an alternative to sleeping pills, I became very interested in behavioral sleep medicine and insomnia.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, 60% of adults report sleep problems a few nights a week or more. Why do so many people have sleep issues?
Dr. Jacobs: Because sleep is affected by, and affects, so many medical and psychological conditions. Sleep is also directly tied to stress and many of the alterations in our environment in modern life such as 24/7 lifestyle and technology and blue light exposure at night.
There is so much in the press these days about sleep, what to do and what not to do. How can a person define what constitutes healthy sleep for themselves?
Dr. Jacobs: Healthy sleep entails the amount of sleep that allows them to feel alert and energetic during the day, which is between seven to nine hours of sleep for the vast majority of adults.
How do you know if you need to see your physician or a sleep specialist to diagnose and treat a possible sleep disorder?
Dr. Jacobs: The Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) methods taught in GoodSleep have been proven more effective than sleeping pills in treating nocturnal insomnia, but if you have an underlying medical condition or sleep disorder such as sleep apnea, restless legs or narcolepsy, you should consult your doctor for your diagnosis and specific treatment of that condition, in order to reap the full benefits of GoodSleep.
What are the most common sleep issues that GoodSleep can address?
Dr. Jacobs: Anyone who has difficulty falling asleep or can’t stay asleep, whether this occurs occasionally or regularly, and is not getting enough sleep. The program is also very effective for helping those who are taking sleeping pills, to reduce or eliminate the pills.
How does GoodSleep work?
Dr. Jacobs: GoodSleep is a cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (or CBT-I for short) program that is based on almost three decades of sleep research and clinical practice at the Harvard and UMass Memorial Medical Centers. CBT-I is a technique that changes the sleep behaviors that are causing sleep problems. It is structured, sleep-focused, and easy to implement for most people. Learned thoughts and behaviors that are keeping you from getting a good night’s sleep can be unlearned or changed with CBT.
For people having a hard time sleeping, CBT helps them learn to:
- Change stressful, untrue thoughts about sleep;
- Change behaviors that keep them awake;
- Improve relaxation skills; and,
- Improve lifestyle habits that affect sleep.
How much time does GoodSleep take to use?
Dr. Jacobs: GoodSleep requires about three minutes per week to review the techniques in the program and put those techniques into effect.
What are the components of GoodSleep?
Dr. Jacobs: The components of GoodSleep include:
- Sleep scheduling techniques to change negative sleep patterns;
- Establishing healthy sleep habits and behaviors to make the bed a stronger cure for sleep;
- Guided bedtime relaxation exercises;
- Tips on simple lifestyle changes that improve sleep; and,
- Techniques to reduce and eliminate sleep medication.
Does GoodSleep’s CBT technique alone lead to success or are there other factors involved in sustainable sleep improvement?
Dr. Jacobs: Sustainable improvement is based on the individual being motivated to maintain the use of the learned techniques. Because these techniques become more ‘automatic’ over time, and long-term follow- up data indicates that people experience even greater improvement in sleep over time. People clearly maintain their use of the techniques without much difficulty.
Can you tell us about the success of your program?
Dr. Jacobs: There has been an 80% success in significantly improving sleep for people who have difficulty sleeping. This program has helped to reduce or eliminate use of sleeping pills for 90% of people who use them.
Why do you think a corporation should invest in the sleep education and training, including GoodSleep, for its workforce?
Dr. Jacobs: Sleep problems are amongst the most prevalent of all health problems. Workers with sleep problems will perform more poorly, and cost their employers more, than good sleepers. There is no other health problem that can have a more direct negative effect on daytime performance and productivity.
So how do you get started? We invite you to visit GoodSleep on our website for more information.
We also invite you to learn more about CIRCADIAN’s Corporate Sleep Programs® to consider how investing in sleep education and training for your workforce has an ROI and results in optimizing performance, minimizing health care costs and safety risks, and improving the health and well-being of your workforce...and your company.