Table of contents:
Psychotherapy can effectively help with insomnia
Stop counting sheep before bed and drinking warm milk, there is a more effective way to combat chronic insomnia - cognitive-behavioral therapy. According to the authors of the new study, such treatment is quite effective, but is not yet widely used, since not many doctors still know about it, and patients often do not have access to it.
Photo: flickr.com /
Stop counting sheep before bed and drinking warm milk, there is a more effective way to combat chronic insomnia - cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBP). According to the authors of the new study, such treatment is quite effective, but is not yet widely used, since not many doctors still know about it, and patients often do not have access to it.
In an article published in the British Journal of General Practice, the authors report that they looked at 13 studies on cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. In some studies, participants also took sleeping pills. “There is a very effective treatment for insomnia without sleeping pills. It must be available for primary care,”says Dr. Judith Davidson, author of a new study at Queens University in Canada.
Chronic insomnia, in which people have difficulty falling asleep or sleeping at least three nights a week for three months or more, is thought to affect approximately 10-15% of adults. This condition is associated with a number of other disorders, including depression, and sometimes it leads to accidents. Sleeping pills are not recommended for long-term use, as they can be addictive and may have side effects. Instead, chronic insomnia is best treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy, which involves a series of changes in a person's approach to sleep. These include changes in the very attitude to insomnia, suggest that a person should not be near the bed when awake, and limiting the time spent in bed.
The results showed that this therapy was highly effective and led to lasting improvement in sleep. Looking at the results of four randomized controlled trials involving 66 to 201 participants of different ages, the researchers found that participants fell asleep an average of 9-30 minutes earlier after completing the course of therapy. They also had 22–36 minutes less time spent in bed upon waking. In those patients who received traditional treatment for insomnia, the time to fall asleep was reduced by only 4 minutes, and the time in bed after waking up was reduced to 8 minutes. According to the authors, it takes four to eight therapy sessions to achieve such results.