The clinical efficacy of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for chronic insomnia has been established, yet clinical effectiveness is less clear. This study presents data on 109 patients from general practice during a formal evaluation of clinical effectiveness. Two thirds achieved normative values of < or =30 min for sleep latency and wakefulness during the night after CBT. Furthermore, almost half of the sample reduced sleeplessness by > or =50%. Logistic regression revealed that initial severity did not contraindicate good outcome. Rather, greater sleep disturbance was positively associated with large symptom reduction, although lower endpoint scores were less likely. Similarly, symptoms of anxiety, depression, and thinking errors positively predicted good outcome. Hypnotic using patients responded equally well to CBT, and demographic factors were of no significant predictive value. It is concluded that CBT is clinically and durably effective for persistent insomnia in routine practice.