What is Behavioral Sleep Medicine and why is it needed?

Sleep disorders lower quality of life and contribute to physical and mental health problems. Sleep disorders and lack of sleep are an under treated threat to the public health. Sleep professionals have recognized the behavioral components of sleep disorders for decades, yet most patients never get a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Behavioral Sleep Medicine is an expanding area of sleep psychology that focuses on the evaluation and treatment of sleep disorders by addressing behavioral, psychological, and physiological factors that interfere with sleep. 

Behavioral sleep specialists utilize evidenced-based therapies that often combine behavioral approaches with cognitive techniques. Sometimes device-based treatments such as bright light boxes are utilized in behavioral sleep medicine treatments. Most approaches in Behavioral Sleep Medicine do not involve medications, but some interventions may be used in conjunction with medications or to help patients better tolerate medical therapies such as continuous positive airway pressure therapies for sleep apnea.

Many Behavioral Sleep Medicine interventions are based on cognitive-behavioral therapies (CBT). CBT is supported by scientific data and has a successful track record for treating a variety of sleep disorders. The behavioral aspect of CBT for sleep disorders focuses on eliminating habits, behaviors and environmental disruptions that stand in the way of quality rest. The focus is on systematically introducing behavioral changes that have been proven to improve sleep. This could include changes in sleep schedule and changes in the contingencies and reinforcers that promote sleep. The cognitive approach focuses on looking internally to examine, manage, or modify sleep interfering thoughts and beliefs that can interfere with sleep. Most CBT therapies for sleep disorders are brief, involving an evaluation and a limited number of treatment visits.

The Society for Behavioral Sleep Medicine aims to make CBT and related treatments for sleep disorders a standard of comprehensive care.

1st Annual Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine Scientific Meeting

Stay connected with your behavioral sleep medicine community!

Join for the 1st Annual SBSM Scientific Meeting to be held September 12-15, 2019 in Birmingham, AL, at the incredible Renaissance Birmingham Ross Bridge Resort & Spa. 

SubmissionS Accepted Now

The submittal system will open on October 1, 2018 and will close at 11:59 PM Pacific Time on March 29, 2019. 


Primary authors will be notified in April 2019 regarding selection of their proposals.

 Abstracts are to be submitted for poster or oral presentations.  Proposals are to be submitted for symposia or workshops.  All events are scheduled to take place Thursday, September 12 – Sunday, September 15, 2019. Presenters must be able to present on their assigned dates.  

Mark your calendar to attend premier education and networking in the relaxing atmosphere of the Ross Bridge Resort & Spa!

Meeting agenda and registration available soon!  


The Renaissance is a beautiful destination to bring your family to enjoy the many activities for children and adults alike!   


Advancing the Science of Behavioral Sleep Medicine and its Impact on Population Health


Click here for Important Information about the abstract submission process.

Click here for a tentative Meeting Agenda


The Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine has collated a list of board-certified Behavioral Sleep Medicine providers to serve as consultants for individuals gaining eligibility to sit for the certification exam.

Please note: Access to the Consultant Registry is for current SBSM members only.


If you have questions please feel free to reach out to the SBSM office at kathryn@behavioralsleep.org with any questions.
Justin Thomas, PhD
Chair, Practice Committee
Stacey Simon, PhD
Board of Directors Liaison to Practice Committee

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SBSM Journal

BSBM Journal


Official Journal of the
Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine
6 issues published annually