BABCP | British Association for Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies > Conferences > National Conferences and Workshops > Scotland: 50 Years of CBT > Workshop 2


Cognitive and behavioural therapeutics (CBTx) for insomnia in everyday clinical practice

Colin Espie, Professor of Sleep Medicine, University of Oxford, Emeritus Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Glasgow and Honorary Consultant Clinical Psychologist, NHS Lanarkshire

This workshop will explain the central importance, across the lifespan, of sleep and circadian regulation to our everyday health and wellbeing. Particular reference will be made to central role sleep as nature’s primary provision for mental health and wellbeing, and in delivering everyday cognitive capability. As well as exploring the nature of sleep itself, we will discuss how disorders of sleep present, how they can be assessed in routine clinical practice and how they can be most effectively managed. There will be an emphasis on acquiring practical skills of assessment and intervention using cognitive behavioural therapeutics (CBTx). Note that the CBTx framework comprises all evidence-based psychological therapeutics for insomnia because CBT is not a treatment per se but a category name.

Sleep, like oxygen, water and food is fundamental to life. It is what nature provides for emotional stability and for day-to-day cognitive functioning. Consequently, difficulty sleeping is the most common expression of poor mental health across population demographics. Historically poor sleep has been regarded as a symptom of ‘something else’. However, it is now understood that sleep and circadian regulation is a driver of health and wellbeing; and that sleep disorders should be actively treated whenever they present. There is growing evidence for example that treating insomnia is an effective anti-depressant.

This workshop reflects the importance for all clinicians and therapists to have a working understanding of poor sleep and how to integrate insomnia care into their everyday practice

Key learning objectives:

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Understand what sleep is and why it matters
  • Understand sleep disorders and how they present clinically
  • Select and apply practical tools for the assessment and management of sleep disorders
  • Select and apply cognitive and behavioural therapeutics (CBTx) to the treatment of insomnia

Colin Espie qualified as a clinical psychologist in 1980 and has worked as a clinician, as an NHS clinical director, and as a clinical training director and head of department in academic settings. He is Emeritus Professor of Clinical Psychology (University of Glasgow) but continues to work as Professor of Sleep Medicine (University of Oxford) and has an honorary clinical appointment with NHS Lanarkshire. He is internationally known for his work on insomnia and its treatment and has published over 300 scientific papers and several textbooks. Amongst many awards of distinction, he is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society, and an Honorary Fellow of the BABCP Colin is actively involved in print, TV and social media regarding the science of sleep ( He co-founded Big Health the developer of SleepioTM which received a NICE guideline in 2022 and is now widely available in the NHS and in the US healthcare system.

Key References

Wilson, S., Anderson, K., Baldwin, D., Dijk, D. J., Espie, A., Espie, C., Gringras, P., Krystal, A., Nutt, D., Selsick, H., & Sharpley, A. (2019). British Association for Psychopharmacology consensus statement on evidence-based treatment of insomnia, parasomnias and circadian rhythm disorders: An update. Journal of psychopharmacology (Oxford, England)33(8), 923–947.

Espie, C.A. (2021) Overcoming Insomnia and Sleep Problems: A Self-Help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioral Techniques, 2nd edition. Little, Brown Book Group, London

Espie, C.A. (2023) A Clinician’s Guide to Cognitive and Behavioural Therapeutics (CBTx) for Insomnia. Cambridge University Press, UK

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