June 16, 2009
Science Daily/American Academy of Sleep Medicine
A majority of people experiencing chronic insomnia can experience a normalization of sleep parameters through the use of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, according to new research.
Results indicate that 50 percent to 60 percent of participants with chronic sleep onset insomnia, sleep maintenance insomnia or both experienced remission of their primary sleep difficulty. Among the 64 participants who completed five or more treatment sessions, there were significant improvements on presenting complaints, as well as all other measures, including sleep efficiency, average nightly awakenings, total sleep time and average nights of sleep medication use per week.
The multi-component, CBT-I program included comprehensive evaluations of patients' habits, attitudes and knowledge concerning sleep. The program was designed to involve six to seven treatment sessions. Specific strategies included education on sleep regulating systems, sleep scheduling recommendations, sleep hygiene education, sleep consolidation therapy, stimulus control therapy, relaxation training, cognitive therapy and mindfulness training.
According to Wetzler, a related study found that of participants who completed at least four treatment sessions of CBT-I, 78 percent of those using sleep medication for three or more nights per week were able to completely discontinue use of sleep medications. Findings from this study indicate that those who discontinued use of sleep medications not only stopped using drugs to sleep but also slept better than when they were taking sleep medications.