Good news for all those who are tired of not being able to sleep: researchers may have found the cure for chronic insomnia.
Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) should be the first-line treatment for adults with chronic insomnia, according to the American College of Physicians (ACP).
CBT-I consists of a combination of treatments, which include cognitive therapy around sleep, behavioural interventions such as sleep restriction and stimulus control, and education such as sleep hygiene (habits for a good night’s sleep).
A review of published evidence found the CBT-I is an effective treatment and can be initiated in a primary care setting. While the reviewers found insufficient evidence to directly compare CBT-I and drug treatment, CBT-I is likely to have fewer harms than sleep medications, which are associated with significant side effects.
If CBT-I alone is unsuccessful, ACP recommends that doctors use a shared-decision making approach with their patients to decide whether drug therapy should be added to treatment. This should include discussing the benefits, harms and costs of medications.
The study has been published in Annals of Internal Medicine.
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