Insomnia :: Psychological, behavioral therapies a reliable treatment for insomnia

Psychological and behavioral therapies produce reliable changes in several sleep parameters of insomniacs, and are, therefore, considered an effective treatment for insomnia. This finding confirms a review paper published in 1999 by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) regarding the efficacy of psychological and behavioral treatments for insomnia.

Insomnia is characterized by an inability to sleep and/or to be incapable of remaining asleep for a reasonable period. Insomniacs typically complain of being unable to close their eyes or “rest their mind” for more than a few minutes at a time. Both organic and nonorganic insomnia constitute a sleep disorder. It is often caused by fear, stress, anxiety, medications, herbs or caffeine. An overactive mind or physical pain may also be causes. Finding the underlying cause of insomnia is usually necessary to cure it.

The latest study, conducted by Charles M. Morin, PhD, of Universit? Laval in Qu?bec, Canada, focused on 37 treatment studies ? enrolled by a total of 2,246 patients, 2,029 of which completed treatment ? published between 1998 and 2004. Participants of the study were 18 years of age and older who suffered from insomnia and had at least one treatment of either psychological or behavioral therapy. Subjects kept a one-to-two-week diary for the duration of treatment and for an additional one-to-two-week period at post treatment and follow-ups.

The results consistently showed that treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy and relaxation conditions were effective for primary insomnia, as well as insomnia associated with some medical conditions and, to a lesser extent, with psychiatric conditions.

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